The chief executive of UK Music has welcomed the government's roadmap for lifting Covid-19 restrictions, but cautions that further economic support will be needed for the live music industry to fully reopen.
In a statement, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said that the government had listened to UK Music's requests for clarity and certainty.
“It is fantastic news for the 200,000 people working in the music industry and millions of music fans that we are just a few months away from live music bursting back onto stages,“ he said. “Our world-leading live music scene – ranging from stadium and concert-hall filling acts to emerging solo performers in the local pub – will help lift people’s spirits and deliver a huge cultural and economic boost as we emerge from this pandemic.“
The UK music industry was one of the first sectors to close down and will be the last to reopen. The lifting of restrictions on indoor hospitality on 17th May raised the possibility of live events with appropriate social distancing measures, with 21 June offering a final date for the lifting of all Covid-19 legal restrictions.
Responding to the government's roadplan, Greg Parmley, CEO of LIVE, said that live music was at the “back of the queue“ and called on the government to offer more financial support.
“Any return to normality for live music could be months behind the rest of the economy. The Chancellor must acknowledge our extended closure in the Budget and provide the economic support needed to ensure the jobs and livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of people that work in our industry exist as we come through this pandemic.”
LIVE, the industry body for the UK's live music sector, called for an extension to the reduced five per cent VAT scheme for live events ticketing, comprehensive support for those who have lost their livelihoods, business rates relief and Government-backed insurance scheme that allowed venues and promoters to get back to business.
Njoku-Goodwin echoed those sentiments. “It is vital that our industry gets the continued economic support it needs to keep us going through to the point we can restart, he said. “The prospect of there being no legal impediments to live music events means issues like insurance are now even more pressing. They now present one of the final barriers to getting events going this summer.“