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Live music industry umbrella group LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) has called on the events industry to support its #KeepVATat5 campaign in an effort to persuade Government to maintain the current 5% VAT rate on ticket sales for the next three years. The reduced rate period is scheduled to end on March 31.

The organisation issued a statement that said action was needed ahead of the budget to convince the chancellor Rishi Sunak to maintained the 5% rate. It claimed that of all of the support measures the industry is requesting the Government take, keeping the VAT rate on tickets at 5% for the next three years will make the single biggest impact to the sector’s recovery.

It said, “If it is reversed, the rate will take millions from our industry when we need it the most. This is not just about the work done by industry associations, this needs all companies and individuals across the industry to stand up and ask for it. If we all act together, we have a chance.

“If we are successful, the entire ecosystem benefits: the crews, venues, managers, artists, agents, promoters and more. If we are successful, our whole industry bounces back more quickly.”

This week LIVE is coordinating letters to Sunak and other prominent MPs to ask for support. It said event professions can support the campaign by taking the following steps:

1. This week, write to your local MP to urge them to #KeepVATat5. Download the template letter with instructions, or personalise however you see fit.

2. Encourage your friends, colleagues, networks, mailing lists and audiences to do the same.

3. On Thursday 4 February, post on social media (#KeepVATat5) about why this matters, and encourage your online networks to get involved. A zip file of assets (graphics for Facebook, Twitter, Insta) with key messages can be downloaded here. The key messages are also below:

Key campaign messages:

  • To support our industry during this crisis the Government reduced the rate of VAT on ticket sales to 5% but now wants to increase this back to 20%.
  • This increase in VAT will impact the entire ecosystem – the crews, the artists, venues and all employees – just when we need help to survive and recover the most.
  • Increasing VAT by 400% at a time when the live music industry needs crucial support would be catastrophic for our recovery

LIVE is made up of industry representatives including Concert Promoters Association chair Phil Bowdery, Association of Independent Festivals CEO Paul Reed and National Arenas Association chair Lucy Noble, Production Services Association chair Dave Keighley and Association of Festival Organisers General Secretary Steve Heap.