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UK Music chief warns of risk to venues over EU stage lighting plans

Mr Dugher made his intervention in The Sun on Sunday yesterday

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04/06/18: UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher has warned of the risk facing music venues over new EU rules on stage lighting.


Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls performing at the Roundhouse as part of their Lost Evenings festival, May 2018. Picture credit: Megan White.

The EU Commission plans to scrap the existing exemption for gigs and other live shows from energy rating under the Ecodesign Directive, which could force small theatres, school halls and community venues to pay to replace traditional Tungsten and Arc bulbs. High-quality LED lighting units could also be banned.

A petition started by The Association of Lighting Designers asking the EU to reconsider the changes, which would come into force in September 2020, has already received more than 80,000 signatures.

The proposals were debated at the European Parliament last Wednesday when Labour MEP Rory Palmer highlighted our concerns.

He called on the European Commission to re-think the proposals, listen to the concerns of venues and “work positively to reach a sensible compromise on this specific issue.”

Mr Palmer also asked the EC to find “a way forward so we can find a low-waste, low-energy, more sustainable economy and protect live music and arts venues at the same time”.

Speaking to the Sun on Sunday newspaper, Mr Dugher said: “This could have a serious impact on the music industry that contributes £4.4billion a year to our economy.

“While we recognise the importance of improving energy efficiency, there is a real risk venues could face huge costs to replace perfectly good lighting equipment.

“Despite UK Music and the Music Venue Trust winning much-needed changes to planning laws recently, this could not come at a worse time for many grassroots venues which are already battling to survive in the face of rent and rate hikes.

“It is vital that we maintain the existing exemption until a proper assessment has been made of the impact of the proposed change and we find a solution that everyone is happy with.”

You can read Michael’s comments in the Sun on Sunday story here.

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