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Music industry campaigning and lobbying group UK Music has today, 5 January, issued a report that provides Government with an action plan that could enable the live music sector to get back to business.

The organisation’s Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021 report, sets out the economic, social and cultural value of live music, along with a blueprint for its revival. It is the backbone of a Save Our Summer 2021 campaign, with the hashtag #SaveOurSummer2021.

The organisation said live music contributed £1.3 billion to the economy in 2019 and claims the biggest barrier to the return of major events in 2021 is the lack of available Covid cancellation event insurance. The report calls on the Government to introduce an insurance scheme similar to what it has made available for the film and TV sector.

The report is published ahead of UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin’s appearance today at the DCMS Select Committee’s inquiry into music festivals.

The key calls for action in the report are:

  • An indicative date for a full capacity restart
  • A Government-backed indemnity scheme
  • Targeted financial support for the sector
  • Extension to the VAT rate reduction on tickets
  • Rollover of the paid 2020 Local Authority licence fees for festivals to 2021
  • Extension to business rates relief

UK Music said festival attendance was up 6% in 2019, on the previous year, to 5.2 million, and typically festivals with an attendance of 80-100,000 generate in the region of £8-12m per day, or around £25-30m per event in revenue.

It said the pandemic resulted in a 90.2% drop in revenue for festivals last year, with fears of redundancies of up to 50% in the workforce.

The organisation pointed out that the impact of the pandemic has been felt across the music industry, with up to 80% of music creators’ income in 2020 lost and fears that more than 70% of musicians are considering leaving the sector.

Njoku-Goodwin said, “While this pandemic is still raging and continues to cause devastation to lives and livelihoods today, there is an endpoint in sight. Government is rolling out the vaccine and is openly speculating about returning to normal by the spring – but there is a serious risk that even if this proves to be a reality, lack of notice and available insurance options will mean much of the 2021 summer music season can’t go ahead.

“In this report, UK Music is putting forward a clear plan for recovery: what we need to do to get the live performance sector back up on its feet again in 2021. But the clock is ticking, and any day soon we could see major festivals and events start pulling the plug for lack of certainty.

“With the right support the live music industry can be at the forefront of the post-pandemic recovery and play a key role in our country’s economic and cultural revival but there will need to be a concerted effort from industry and the Government together if we are to let the music play and save our summer.”