Night-Time Industries Association Scotland (NTIAS) has launched a campaign branded #DontStopTheMusic in response to first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s ban on background music in venues, pubs and restaurants.
Meanwhile, promoters and industry organisations such as UK Music and the Musicians’ Union (MU) have reacted angrily to the ban in Northern Ireland on live music and DJS in pubs and venues.
UK Music acting CEO Tom Kiehl said the Northern Ireland Executive should reconsider the ban and support actions to aid music’s eventual recovery: “Live music is incredibly important to Northern Ireland. It sustains thousands of jobs and in a normal year would generate millions for the local economy.”
MU regional organiser for N Ireland Caroline Sewell said she was deeply concerned about the effective ban on live music in Northern Ireland: “Musicians have suffered acutely throughout this crisis with their livelihoods completely disappearing in the vast majority of cases. We are keen to hear from the Executive and to gain an understanding of the evidence that has driven this decision.”
In Scottish, the devolved government has claimed the ban on background music was necessary to mitigate a perceived risk of people spreading Covid-19 if they had to raise their voices to be heard above music. The ban extends to sound on television in pubs.
The NTIAS campaign hopes to raise awareness around the ban by calling on people to share their favourite song of all time along with the #DontStopTheMusic hashtag.
Holdfast Events CEO Donald Macleod said, “The sound of silence is now killing much of Scotland’s hospitality sector and beleaguered night-time economy, don’t let that be our nation’s Covid legacy.”