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The Labour Party’s landslide victory in the UK general election has been warmly welcomed by representatives from across the live events industry.

“We have grounds for real optimism with a Labour government, partly because of what they’ve said but also partly because of who said it. It hasn’t just been DCMS, it’s been Jonathan Reynolds at business, it’s been Rachel Reeves at Treasury, it’s been Keir Starmer who launched the Labour’s creatives manifesto – there are so many things in there that we like,” said Jon Collins CEO of LIVE, which represents 15 associations across the live music industry.

“We have grounds for real optimism with a Labour Government.”

Collins said that the key focus now is to lobby the new government with clear and sensible asks that carry unanimous support from the sector: “We need to demonstrate unanimity, and having LIVE pulling all those associations together gives us a great starting point.”

Another to enthusiastically welcome Labour’s success, Stuart Galbraith CEO KMJ Entertainment and a co-founder of LIVE said that among the priorities now are to push for measures to tackle nefarious secondary ticketing. In March, Labour announced a policy commitment to introduce new legislation to cap resale prices of tickets, limit the number of tickets people can resell, and to make platforms such as Viagogo accountable for the provenance of tickets they list.

Galbraith also said the introduction of a 5% VAT rate for small venues and festivals is a priority, which Association of Independent Festivals CEO John Rostron said was top of his agenda.

“We very much welcome a Labour government,” said Rostron. “Labour have demonstrated a strong commitment to culture and to music whilst in opposition and that’s carried through into their manifesto. With a strong majority and a good tenure ahead, we hope we can achieve a lot with their team.

“With a strong majority and a good tenure ahead, we hope we can achieve a lot with their team.”

“Lower VAT on ticket sales is the primary ask from us for independent music festivals – the most vital piece of support we need quickly. Our priority after that is to explore a festival tax credit – another fiscal model that could be the silver bullet for independent festivals.”

John Drury, chair of the National Arenas Association (NAA), and VP & general manager of the ASM Global-run OVO Arena Wembley (cap. 12,500), said the NAA would like the government to seriously consider the Grassroots Music Venues DCMS Select Committee’s suggested reduction in VAT for the live industry: “Events at NAA member venues accounted for £100m in VAT in 2023, £60m of which was on ticket sales. A system that offers a significant VAT reduction would give the grassroots sector the boost they so badly need and would enable the industry to provide a package of support from larger venues and events. A VAT reduction that allows us to donate 5% of ticket income for example would have put £3m back into the industry last year from arena events alone. If extended to all venue income, 5% would have totalled £5m last year

“We would also ask the government to work with our industry on secondary ticketing, where too much income still goes outside of the industry, and to ensure business rates are kept at realistic levels.”

Parklife festival (cap. 80,000) and Warehouse Project (10,000) co-founder Sacha Lord, who is also Greater Manchester’s night time economy adviser, said he was extremely pleased with the result, and the focus is now on the challenges ahead: “The economic challenges that the night time economy face are stark and while we can’t expect overnight change, I will be hoping to see a greater level of support for the industry over the coming months.

“We should continue to hold this government to account and I will personally press hard for an easing of the financial burdens placed on operators – in particular, a revision of the business rates system to make a fairer playing field, and along with the many others across the sector, I will also continue to seek a reduction in VAT.”

Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) CEO Michael Kill said that as well as calling on the Labour government to establishment a dedicated ministerial position to oversee and champion the night-time economy at a government level, the implementation of a package of tax cuts is a key priority.

“This should include the continuation of business rates relief and a reduction in VAT to 12.5% for the next 12 months,” he said. “These measures will provide the financial headroom necessary for businesses to survive and thrive, ensuring that our night-time economy can continue to be a source of joy, employment, and cultural enrichment for all.”

The incoming Labour government was also welcomed by live event environmental sustainability groups, including Music Declares Emergency (MDE) and A Greener Future (AGF).

“We have had 14 years of Tory misrule during which time community, climate, biodiversity, water quality, and the economy have been eroded,” said AGF CEO Claire O’Neill. “I am pleased and confident in what Labour can now deliver with their support for the creative industries and commitment to the green economy. This is especially seen in the case of green energy, where they have a 2030 target for 100% renewable energy on the grid. That is huge.”

“We have had 14 years of Tory misrule during which time community, climate, biodiversity, water quality, and the economy have been eroded.”

MDE’s co-executive director Lewis Jamieson said that as well as calling on the new government to help realise the full potential of the energy, expertise and innovation at play across the music sector when it comes to increasing its environmental sustainability, the issue of touring paperwork in the EU is the other clear priority.

“Removing the tangles of expensive red tape that are barring touring artists and businesses from accessing the European market has to be a priority,” he said.

Collins said that he looked forward to working closely with the Labour government on LIVE’s shared manifesto proposals to enable UK artists to tour internationally more easily.

He said, “The live music sector generated over £6 billion in 2023, with one gig held every four minutes, but this growth has not been uniformly experienced across the sector. It is critical that the incoming Labour Government delivers on the Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee’s recommendations for an urgent review of reintroducing a lower rate of VAT on live music tickets and finding other ways to support grassroots music.”