Live music industry umbrella organisation LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) has issued a manifesto to all upcoming local election candidates asking them to pledge their support for the £4.5bn live music sector.

The manifesto calls for support in keys areas such as funding, planning, regeneration, and skills investment. Local councils have devolved power to support artists, venues, supply chain, and festivals businesses across the sector. The elections are due to take place tomorrow, 5 May.

LIVE’s manifesto pledges set out a commitment to recognising the positive impact that artists, venues, festivals, and the wider supply chain have on both local economies and quality of life, along with a promise to provide support to struggling businesses as they seek to recover post pandemic.

Recently appointed LIVE CEO Jon Collins said the live music eco-system is being threatened by post-pandemic and post-Brexit challenges, including a 7.5% increase in VAT on tickets and wholesale cost increases, while many artists and crew are struggling having not received any government financial support.

“I am today calling for the full support of all local leaders to help us protect and grow the UK’s truly world class live music scene, ensuring their constituents continue to enjoy its benefits,” he said.

Among the measures LIVE is lobbying for is a reformed business rates system and provision of additional funds for artists and freelancers.

The manifesto pledges include a commitment to maintaining and strengthening local funding for live music venues and festivals in real terms, and support to those individuals and businesses struggling as they seek to recover post pandemic.