UK Music has put forward a comprehensive plan on ways to get the live music sector back on its feet, specifically with the summer music festival season in mind.
“Live music is the beating heart of the UK music industry,” said UK Music chief executive, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin. “It generates billions of pounds for the economy every year, supports thousands of jobs across the country, and draws millions of music tourists to all four corners of the UK.
In addition to the economic impact, it also has huge social and cultural benefits. The UK’s vibrant live music scene has given us a global reputation, and the music industry as a whole was set to be one of the British success stories of the 2020s.
Covid-19 has put much of that at risk. The pandemic has had a devastating impact across the industry, and live music has been one of the biggest casualties.
“However, as we argue in this report, the devastation caused by Covid-19 does not have to be permanent,” he stressed. “We were a growing and thriving industry before the pandemic hit, and with the right support we can be that successful and self-reliant industry again.”
In this report, UK Music highlights the vital role live music plays in our communities and lays out the stark challenges it has faced over the course of the pandemic.
UK Music argues that the music industry will have a key role to play in the post-pandemic economic and cultural recovery, and therefore it is in the national interest for the sector to be supported and helped back to normal.
“Before the vaccine is fully rolled out, there will remain a public health risk,” Njoku-Goodwin said. “Therefore, one of our main tasks as an industry has been to do everything we can to reduce the risk of transmission in our environments and make event spaces as safe as they can possibly be.
“We are working with the government to develop guidance for how to hold events safely, and engaging with testing pilots to make sure infections are not brought into live music events. We are looking at new ventilation and air purification systems that would dramatically reduce the risk of transmission. And we are proposing an enhancement to Hands, Face, Space, which puts responsibility for making environments safe onto venues rather than individuals.”
This work is not just important for tackling the risks from Covid-19 – it is a blueprint for how the live events sector can operate safely and viably through future epidemics too.