As the UK government’s autumn budget statement approaches - it will be delivered in Parliament next week - British live music trade body LIVE has published a manifesto calling once again for financial support for the sector, as well as making some other demands of government and the country’s lawmakers.
Pulling together various pleas from the live music industry made in recent years, the manifesto has five key priorities aimed at safeguarding grassroots music venues and boosting the wider live economy.
- Provide urgent financial support, including an extension to grassroots music venues business rates relief and wider hospitality and leisure relief.
- Rethink the current bill on safety at venues, known as Martyn’s Law, to ensure any new measures are practical and protect lives.
- Remove the barriers for UK artists to tour internationally, including by introducing a cultural visa waiver for creative workers touring in the EU.
- Protect fans by bringing UK ticketing regulations into line with other progressive music markets.
- Accelerate the sector’s transition to net zero through funding and information provision to fill any current shortfall.
“You cannot underestimate the importance and value of live music to the UK, both culturally and economically”, says new LIVE Chair Steve Lamacq. “It is part of the fabric of who we are, producing world-class artists and providing enjoyment for millions of people. But this is still a very challenging time for promoters, especially at the grassroots level where venues are increasingly struggling to cope with massive rises in running costs”.
“We need to act now and recognise just how important these venues are, not just as the breeding ground for the next generation of young musicians, but also as proud, creative hubs for the communities they serve across the country”, he goes on. “Without targeted financial support and understanding, we run the immediate risk of seeing hundreds of these venues shutting for good, which would be devastating for fans, artists and local economies”.
As well as lobbying government in the short term, the manifesto is also looking ahead to the looming UK general election, with LIVE CEO Jon Collins adding: “The LIVE Music Manifesto launched today presents a huge opportunity for our political leaders to supercharge a cultural and economic powerhouse”.
“It is estimated”, he continues, “that for every 10,000 people at a gig in the UK, there is an additional £1 million spent in other local businesses, including restaurants and bars, transport networks, shops and hotels. It’s crucial that the voice of the live music sector is heard at the next general election”.
You can view the full LIVE Music Manifesto at the link below.