LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment), the umbrella trade body representing all corners of the UK’s live music industry, has urged the Chancellor to provide vital financial support to the grassroots music sector in the upcoming Autumn Statement.

The demands include the extension of the business rates relief and a return to lower VAT, which the trade body said will bring the UK into line with international competitors.

LIVE’s new manifesto has also urged Government to revise the current Martyn’s Law bill, remove barriers for UK artists to tour internationally and introduce ticketing regulations.

The manifesto has five priorities:

  • Provide urgent financial support, including an extension to grassroots music venues business rates relief and wider hospitality and leisure relief.
  • Rethink the current Bill on safety at venues, known as Martyn’s Law, to ensure any new measures are practical and protect lives.
  • Remove the barriers for UK artists to tour internationally, including by introducing a cultural visa waiver for creative workers touring in the EU.
  • Protect fans by bringing UK ticketing regulations into line with other progressive music markets.
  • Accelerate the sector’s transition to net zero through funding and information provision to fill any current shortfall.

LIVE chair Steve Lamacq said, “This is still a very challenging time for promoters, especially at the grassroots level where venues are increasingly struggling to cope with massive rises in running costs.

“We need to act now and recognise just how important these venues are, not just as the breeding ground for the next generation of young musicians, but also as proud, creative, hubs for the communities they serve across the country. Without targeted financial support and understanding, we run the immediate risk of seeing hundreds of these venues shutting for good, which would be devastating for fans, artists and local economies.”

LIVE CEO Jon Collins said, “It is estimated that for every 10,000 people at a gig in the UK, there is an additional £1 million spent in other local businesses including restaurants and bars, transport networks, shops, and hotels. It’s crucial that the voice of the live music sector is heard at the next general election.

“Simple interventions, like the extension of the business rates relief and a return to lower VAT to bring the UK into line with international competitors would transform the sector. There are also grave risks to inaction. We need to wake up to the reality that the grassroots venues where artists like Ed Sheeran and Adele honed their craft are closing at an alarming rate. We need urgent action from government now, or we risk losing out on future generations of British superstars.”