Some 26% of UK shows have already been cancelled in Q1, largely due to public confidence and fear of further restrictions, according to live music industry umbrella body LIVE.
The organisation, which represents 13 industry associations, said a “snap Industry survey” has shown that more than a quarter of shows have already been cancelled in the first three months of 2022 leading to a serious loss of income for the live music industry. It found that 90% of respondents believe Brexit will negatively impact the industry once all markets fully reopen.
On average, 44% of international shows in Q1 have already been cancelled, according to the survey.
LIVE said it is calling on government for a package of support measures, that include maintaining the reduced rate of VAT on tickets at 12.5%. All senior event professionals recently surveyed by Access said the VAT rate should be maintained at 12.5%, or reduced further, for the remainder of 2022.
In the survey, a lack of public confidence, potential new restrictions and the possibility of further variants were all cited as the main causes of delays and cancellations of shows. Additionally, with the UK beginning to reopen but much of Europe remaining closed, the UK legs of international tours were said to be at risk due to the lack of financial unviability of only touring the UK.
LIVE CEO Greg Parmley said, “Whilst it is great news that restrictions on live music venues will come to an end in much of the UK at the end of January, the live music industry is still facing serious challenges. The impact of the past two years has been catastrophic for the venues, artists, freelancers, and technical staff that power our £4.5 billion industry.
“It will take a long time for us to recover from the worst period in history of the industry and the government need to fully understand the challenges we face. Whilst the UK is reopening many artists need international markets to fully reopen before touring can be financially viable.
“We are also encouraging the public to continue to support live music, whether that is seeing a new band at a small local venue or a big act in an arena, so that we can get through this difficult period together.”