Live music industry umbrella organisation LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) has called on prime minister Rishi Sunak to reinstate a lower rate of VAT and fulfil his campaign promise to cut business rates in the Budget on 17 March.

LIVE CEO Jon Collins said Sunak needs to make the “simple and fair” changes in the upcoming budget to unlock the potential of the industry to return to pre-pandemic levels and create jobs, generate investment, and enable it to stage more live events in every corner of the UK.

Collins said, “The live music sector is a catalyst for economic activity right across the UK but many businesses are still reeling from the pandemic. Combined with rising costs, an uncompetitive tax system is holding back a sector-wide resurgence. The Government has a golden opportunity to turbo boost the industry by reintroducing the 5% rate of VAT on ticket sales in the upcoming Spring Budget. This change would help return live music to full strength, protect much loved grassroots venues and mean even more amazing festivals, concerts, and gigs in towns and cities across the country.”

Collins will be among the key speakers at Event Production Show conference this week who will examine how the industry can collectively work to get Government to more fully recognise and reflect its huge contribution to the economy and the public’s wellbeing. He will be joined by Parklife co-founder and Greater Manchester night time economy adviser Sacha Lord, Boomtown operations director Judy Bec and Artichoke CEO Helen Marriage.

LIVE is a federation of key live events industry associations including the Association of Independent Festivals, Association of Festival Organisers, Concert Promoters Association, National Arenas Association and Production Services Association.

Register to attend Event Production Show here.

The full main stage EPS conference lineup is available here.