The live music industry has called for stability and support for the £4.5 billion sector following former chancellor Rishi Sunak’s successful bid to become prime minister.
Sunak, who at 42, will become the youngest prime minister in more than a century, has won the Conservative Party leadership contest following Liz Truss’ resignation.
Jon Collins, CEO of live music industry umbrella organisation LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) – a federation of 14 industry associations – said that more than anything the industry would value a period of stability: “Like all businesses, the live music industry needs consistency and stability and we are now hopeful for a period of both.
“The economic climate remains extremely challenging for our sector and we are looking forward to interventions which ease cost pressures and increase disposable income. As a priority, we are calling for the reintroduction of the 5% rate of VAT on ticket sales and hope that the new PM’s experience in the Treasury leaves him well placed to recognise the economic stimulus that would follow. Safeguarding gigs, festivals and venues while encouraging additional activity will bring benefits to town and city centres across the UK.”
A UK Music spokesperson said, “We welcome Rishi Sunak as the new prime minister and look forward to working with him and his team to ensure the UK music industry continues to be an economic, cultural and social asset to the country – and gets the support it needs for the challenges ahead.”
Michael Kill CEO of the Night Time Industries Association also said he hoped the new prime minister can address the current instability and help build back consumer confidence for night time economy and hospitality businesses.
“At such a critical time for our sector with many businesses on a cliff edge, I would remind him that 10% of something is better than 20% of nothing,” said Kill. “At the next budget announcement, I would encourage him to extend business rates relief, reform the entire business rates system and lower the current rate of VAT. Independent businesses will not survive without it.”