The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) hosted its third Night Time Economy Summit at Manchester’s Freight Island last week (8-9 February). Mayors of the North of England united with the live events sector to call for an industry-wide VAT cut in the Spring Budget.

Day One kicked off with the breakfast featuring a welcome address from Sacha Lord (Night Time Economy Advisor Manchester), Figen Murray (Martyns Law) and Nina Kehagia (, followed by a discussion with Mayors of the North and West Midlands, Andy Burnham Mayor of Greater Manchester, Tracy Brabin Mayor of East Yorkshire, Andy Street Mayor of West Midlands & Steve Rotherham Mayor of Liverpool City Region.

During the discussion led by Burnham, all the Metro Mayors got behind the campaign calling on the Government to reduce VAT. “This would save businesses and save jobs,” said Lord. “Since the campaign started, this is the first time we have had heavy weight politicians get behind us.”

Through a recorded video message, the Under Secretary of State and Minister for Small Medium Enterprise businesses, Kevin Hollinrake addressed considerations and initiatives to enhance and develop the nighttime industries in the future in the ‘Darkest Before the Dawn’ NTIA Manifesto alongside Philip Kolvin KC.

Author of ‘Darkest Before the Dawn’, Kolvin said, “The night time economy is a key part of UK culture, and so should sit within the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, with a minister in charge of a national strategy to support the industry. This would be a small step for the government, but a giant leap for the industry, so we were thrilled to hear Andy Burnham and his fellow Metro Mayors from the North and West Midlands endorse our idea. We now call on all political parties to pledge this in their own manifestos.”

Other highlights included keynote interviews with Fabric founder Keith Reilly, stylist and TV presenter Gok Wan and discussions on removing barriers To culture featuring Suzanne Bull MBE (Attitude is Everything), ‘Mental Health within the Music Industry’ and ‘The Move Towards Sustainability Within The Night Time Economy’.

On Day Two, UK NTE Advisors Sacha Lord, Carly Heath (Bristol) and Alex Claridge (West Midlands) united to discuss the challenges currently facing UK nightlife. UK Music CEO Tom Kiehl led the conversation on ‘A Manifesto of Music’ and how this year’s General Election can make a difference to the Night Time Economy alongside Jeff Smith MP, Luke Fletcher MS (Plaid Cymru Wales), Councillor Richard Kilpatrick (Lib Dem) and Kate Lowes (Brighter Sounds).

ther highlights included discussions on safeguarding, inclusivity and gender equality in the private security Industry and exploring showtime highs and backstage lows with Tonic Rider.

Independent festival production agency The Fair tackled the biggest challenges being faced across the sector right now – from rising costs to dealing with disasters and changing audience behaviours with a host of leading experts including;  Fran Martin (Head of Live FRUKT), Jay Taylor (Music Venues Trust), Lauren Down (MD End of the Road Festival), Mike Grieve (MD Subclub), Rory Palmer Rowe (Mustard Media), Phoebe Roberts (Attitude is Everything).

In addition, the summit saw the launch of the Electronic Music Report 2024, supported by Amazon, providing an in-depth analysis of the industry’s latest successes and trends and the benchmark Night Time Economy Report 2024 was also unveiled, offering a comprehensive look at the current patterns and trends from 2023, providing invaluable insights into the future of the UK night time economy.

NTIA CEO Michael Kill said, “The Night Time Economy Summit 2024 in Manchester was not just a gathering; it was a seismic shift in our industry’s trajectory. With over 1600 delegates and 200 speakers from around the globe, it was a testament to the power of unity, inspiration, and purpose. We witnessed a community coming together with unparalleled engagement, contribution, and a shared vision for the future of nightlife.”