UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has issued a warning that music venues, studios and other music businesses will be forced to close without rapid support in the face of energy bills soaring at an unsustainable rate.
He has called on the government to cut VAT from its current 20% and extend business rate help to keep music businesses afloat in this unprecedented time.
The recent energy price cap has not been extended to businesses, meaning venues and studios will face an average increase in bills of 300%, and in some cases, it could be an even further 740%.
Households that will be hit by increasing bills have been offered some support from the government, however no such offer has been extended to music businesses, nor for venues in the hospitality and leisure industries.
Njoku-Goodwin described the crisis as an “existential threat” to the music industry and has urged immediate action from the government.
“It’s urgent that Government takes action to support businesses with the costs they are facing,” he said.
“We all saw just how miserable life was without live music during the pandemic when venues were closed for months – the high cost of energy bills could now close them forever.
“The new Prime Minister must ensure that music businesses are included in the support measures that are brought forward to deal with soaring energy costs.
“The Government should look at cutting VAT and extending business rate support to help music businesses that are fighting for their survival.”
The Music Venue Trust has revealed the average venue will, on average, be struggling to pay a monthly fuel bill of £5,179 after surveying its 941 venue membership. It marks a stark rise from the current monthly average of £1,245.