The music and events industry has called for further government assistance following the prime minister’s announcement that venues in England can reopen and host shows from 1 August, as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.
Grassroots venues campaign group Music Venues Trust issued a statement reiterating its standpoint that staging live events with any level of social distancing measures would not be financially viable for the majority of grassroots music venues.
It said, “If such socially distanced events are to be part of the progress towards normality within the sector from 1 August, significant subsidies will be required if this measure is to have any noticeable impact upon the number of shows actually taking place.
“We would also note that events at grassroots music venue level typically take between six weeks and six months to arrange, and that a notice period of two weeks is another enormous challenge to the objective of bringing back live music safely.”
Speaking to the Financial Times, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association Michael Kill said “more clarity” was needed to avoid thousands of job losses: “We have been excluded from every announcement within the last week, and businesses are at breaking point.”
UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl said the re-opening of venues is as an important step but there remains a “long road ahead” for the music industry, which contributes £5.2 billion a year to the UK economy and sustains 190,000 jobs.
“The Government needs to continue working with the industry as a whole so we can get back to live events and let the music play,” said Kiehl.