UK Music has published a report, outlining a clear strategy to protect and support the multi-billion pound live music industry so it is ready to restart when safe to do so later this year.
The Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021 report sets out the economic, social and cultural value of live music, along with a blueprint for reviving live music after COVID-19 forced the effective closure of the sector last March.
In particular, it warns that the lack of COVID-19 cancellation insurance available is the biggest barrier to major events happening in 2021, and calls for Government to introduce an insurance scheme as it did for the film and TV sector.
It was published ahead of Jamie Njoku-Goodwin’s (UK Music chief executive) scheduled appearance at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s inquiry into music festivals.
The report’s publication is coupled with an S.O.S call from UK Music to “Save Our Summer 2021” with the campaign hashtag #SaveOurSummer2021.
It comes amid mounting calls on the Government for clarity from organisers of world-leading events like Glastonbury, grassroots venue operators and the music industry’s workforce of almost 200,000 about how live music can be swiftly and safely restarted.
UK Music’s Let The Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021 report includes a clear plan for the Government to help the live music sector get back in business as soon as possible.
The key calls for action in the report are:
• An indicative date for a full capacity restart
• A Government-backed reinsurance scheme
• Targeted financial support for the sector
• Extension to the VAT rate reduction on tickets
• Rollover of the paid 2020 Local Authority licence fees for festivals to 2021
• Extension to business rates relief
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.
“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.”