Live music events need restart date, trade body tells Government

Tom Horton, PA
·3-min read

The Government should provide the music industry with an indicative date for when live events can resume with full capacities, according to a trade body for the sector.

UK Music is calling for a range of measures to be put in place to help the industry get back up and running this year.

A statement from the organisation said there is “no certainty” about when events will be able to restart in front of full capacity crowds and the sector needs to be able to “plan for the post-pandemic period and the peak summer season”.

A crowd at Glastonbury
Full capacity crowds are not allowed at present (Ben Birchall/PA)

The organisation has also called for events organisers to be provided with coronavirus cancellation insurance in its Let The Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021 report.

The lack of coronavirus insurance available to the sector is the “biggest barrier” to events taking place this year, UK Music said in a statement.

The organisation has called for the Government to introduce a scheme similar to one unveiled for the film and television industry in July, which compensates companies where costs are incurred due to projects being delayed or abandoned because of Covid-19.

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “While this pandemic is still raging and continues to cause devastation to lives and livelihoods today, there is an endpoint in sight.

“Government is rolling out the vaccine and is openly speculating about returning to normal by the spring – but there is a serious risk that even if this proves to be a reality, lack of notice and available insurance options will mean much of the 2021 summer music season can’t go ahead.

Parklife 2015 – Heaton Park Manchester – Day 2
(Katja Ogrin/PA)

“In this report, UK Music is putting forward a clear plan for recovery: what we need to do to get the live performance sector back up on its feet again in 2021.

“But the clock is ticking, and any day soon we could see major festivals and events start pulling the plug for lack of certainty.

“With the right support the live music industry can be at the forefront of the post-pandemic recovery and play a key role in our country’s economic and cultural revival – but there will need to be a concerted effort from industry and the Government together if we are to let the music play and save our summer.”

UK Music has also called for the Government to provide financial support for the sector and an extension to a VAT rate reduction on tickets.

The Government is currently supporting the arts through its £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “We know these are challenging times for the live events sector and are working flat out to support it.

“Our £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund has already seen more than £1 billion offered to arts, heritage and performance organisations to support them through the impact of the pandemic, protecting tens of thousands of creative jobs across the UK, including festivals such as Deer Shed Festival, End of the Road and Nozstock.”