Over the last week, #LetTheMusicPlay has been popping up all over social media with Facebook going one step further and allowing users to have a photo overlay with this on. Now, over 1,500 artists have come together in support of this movement, including Sir. Paul McCartney, Dua Lipa, Liam Gallagher, and even The Rolling Stones.
Organisers for the movement state that “50% of the entire workforce [in this industry]are facing redundancy, 90% of grassroots venues face closure, many operators are facing insolvency and having cancelled this summer and many festivals will struggle to return next year.” Considering that the live music industry contributed £4.5 billion to the UK economy last year, supporters are calling for a £50 million cash injection to ensure that those in the sector can survive the uncertainty that the UK’s music industry faces. For comparison, there has been a tweet circulating on social media that highlights that UK authorities gave Wetherspoons pub a grant of £48.3 million – something pop legend, Liam Gallagher, criticised the British Government for.
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) July 4, 2020
As a high profile supporter, Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis highlights that “if the Government doesn’t step up and support the British arts, we could lose vital aspects of our culture forever.” With the upsurge in fresh talent constantly being discovered at festivals, the lack of support and cash invested in the sector means that many young British artists will forego opportunities that people previously had. As a nation that brought the world acts like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Oasis, The 1975, and many more – the support for acts, promoters, venues and staff in the sector will be hit the hardest by the economic devastation of COVID-19.
According to research carried out by Media Insight Consulting, round 92% of festival businesses are also at risk of collapse, highlighting the reality of Eavis’ concerns. Furthermore, the research that was carried out also accompanied the letter to Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, where organisers of the #LetMusicPlay movement called for governments support ensuring the industry makes it “to next year without being wiped out”. The letter also underscores the importance of live music in COVID-19 times as, like it states, “every part of the entertainment industry, live music has been proud to play our part in the national effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and keep people safe.”
If you would like to show support for this sector, #LetTheMusicPlay organisers are requesting for supporters to contact their local MP and lobby the Chancellor of the Exchequer to “let the music play” ahead of the Summer Economic Update scheduled for July 8th. After this date, fans can still contact their MP about the matter and continue to speak up about these concerns to one another. You can also sign the petition here.