27.09.2022: Delegates at Labour’s annual conference joined industry experts to discuss the power of music at UK Music event in Liverpool.
Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell was joined by award-winning recording engineer Olga FitzRoy, Grammy and BRIT award-winning producer Steve Levine, and Head of UNESCO City of Music for Liverpool, Kevin McManus.
UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin chaired the wide-ranging discussion on Tuesday, at the packed event at the Hilton Liverpool hotel, about the huge benefits of music and some of the challenges facing the sector.
Among the topics raised by were the benefits of music for health and wellbeing, the importance of music in education, the problems facing musicians and crew touring Europe and the potential threat changes to rules on Artificial Intelligence (AI) could pose to the music industry.
The 70-strong audience included former DCMS Minister Jeff Smith, former Labour MP Paul Farrelly and delegates working in the music industry and creative sector.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said the fantastic turnout at the event showed how much music mattered and was recognition of its importance to communities, people, prosperity, health and wellbeing and the UK’s global reputation.
Lucy Powell said ensuring communities had a vibrant music and cultural scene was an integral part of Labour’s plans to help breathe new life into town and city centres.
She added: “We have to cherish our music institutions and make sure we offer music education to everyone”.
The Shadow Culture Secretary vowed that a Labour government would “strengthen employment rights, particularly for those in insecure work”.
She praised the work done by the music industry to highlight the potential threats posed by AI to Intellectual Property rights, saying she was “very sympathetic” to the industry’s case, and the regulatory framework needed to be “future-proofed”.
Olga Fitzroy said music venues and other music spaces played “a huge role” in bringing communities together, but added that industry needed to do more to explain and promote the wide variety of jobs involved in the sector. “There are wonderful opportunities available and we need to get better at communicating them,” she said.
Olga warned soaring energy costs meant an increase of up to 600% on the bills facing some studios – and said this would also impact school budgets, hitting music education.
She also called for more help to support the many thousands of self-employed people in the sector.
Steve Levine said it was vital that young people had access to decent musical instruments and proper software, adding: “When music is taught properly, the results can be breathtaking.”
Steve also highlighted the problems many musicians faced touring the EU post-Brexit and the difficulties that some businesses had getting spare parts and equipment repaired because of the increase in red tape since the UK’s departure from the EU.
Kevin McManus said: “Music is everywhere in Liverpool and we need to help young people find a way into that as we look to grow the sector.”
He said that the most recent figures showed that music contributed £100 million to the city in economic terms and delivered jobs for 3,000 people.
Kevin also outlined the importance of music to help community cohesion. “Music can do good in all sorts of ways,” he said.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin concluded the event saying that while there were areas of disagreement, there was “so much that the music industry is completely united on” – whether that was on the touring challenges post-Brexit, AI, or music education.
“There is a shared determination and purpose to make the music industry as good as it can possibly be,” said Jamie.
Pictures from the event can be seen here.Back to news