A group of UK music organisations have written an open letter to the BBC, expressing their “grave concerns” over the future of BBC Introducing, the broadcaster’s network of programming that supports up-and-coming musical talent.

The group, which includes the Music Venue Trust, the Association of Independent Promoters, LIVE, the Association of Independent Festivals and the National Arenas Association, said the removal of the network would be a “fundamental blow” to the health of the entire sector.

The group highlighted the scheme’s network of 32 radio shows across the UK which supports local artists with local airplay, interviews and sessions and are “deeply engaged with local grassroots music venues”.

Last week, BBC Local radio presenters said on Twitter that there may be some significant changes made to BBC Introducing programming. The proposals would see 21 of the network’s individual local radio shows across England and the Channel Islands either merge or cease to exist, with a focus on more online content.

The letter read, “[The radio shows] are presented and produced by people with a deep knowledge of local and regional music. They provide local gigs, festival stages and outside broadcasts alongside promotion and awareness raising. This work is not done by any other broadcaster; it is unique. Its reach extends to every corner of the country and it is especially important in left behind communities, where access to music  and music opportunities is already incredibly challenging.

“BBC Introducing is a prime example of what the BBC does best that no other broadcaster can do. BBC Introducing programming directly addresses the core aims of the BBC, acting in the public interest, serving all audiences and delivering impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.”


The group said the network of presenters and producers have been placed on notice of potential redundancies, and that the programmes may be under threat as a result of wider cuts to the BBC’s network of local radio stations.

They continued, “New and emerging artists already face significant obstacles to breaking into the music industry, challenges that are amplified for those artists and musicians living outside of the major cities. BBC Introducing has been essential in providing access routes into the industry, with local and regional opportunities available right across the country. Whatever reorganisation might be required to meet the demands of the future stability and viability of the BBC, it should not be the case that BBC Introducing is the unintended victim of those changes.”

The letter was signed by members from the following organisations:

  • Mark Davyd, Music Venue Trust
  • Dave Keighley, Production Services Association
  • Nathan Clark, Association of Independent Promoters
  • Silvia Montello, Association of Independent Music
  • David Martin, Featured Artists Coalition
  • Jon Collins, LIVE (Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment
  • Annabella Coldrick, Music Manager Forum
  • Kevin Appleby, British Association of Concert Halls
  • Paul Fenn, Entertainment Agents Association
  • John Rostron, Association of Independent Festivals
  • Phil Bowdery, The Concerts Promoter Association
  • Jonathan Brown, The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers
  • Jonathan Drury, National Arenas Association

It was written to Richard Sharp, chair of the BBC Board, with the following in CC: Michele Donelan, Secretary of State for DCMS; Julie Lopez, Minister of State for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure; Lord Parkinson, Minister for Arts and Heritage and DCMS Lords Minister.