UK Music Renews Call for Urgent Support as Political Parties Stage Online Conferences

24.09.2020: UK Music has called on political leaders to give urgent support to the UK music industry, as Covid-19 restrictions tightened following a rising number of infections.

Acting CEO Tom Kiehl made the call as Labour kicked off the political conference season which will be held online this year as a result of the pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week outlined a series of new measures to try to bring the virus under control, including a 10pm curfew on hospitality businesses like pubs. Similar steps were taken by the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

UK Music’s Tom Kiehl warned the new restrictions meant it was vital that the crisis-hit music industry was given “sector specific” support as it required a lifeline for months to come.

He said: “The PM’s new measures may be in place for six months. With still so much of the music industry not working it’s vital that sector specific support is accessible in the coming months for the individuals and organisations that contribute to the success of our £5.2bn music industry.”

UK Music has also launched a series of online messages aimed at politicians taking part in online “party conference” events over the next few weeks, with the Liberal Democrat conference set to begin on Friday (24th Sepetember), followed by the Conversative Conference expected to start on 3rd October. 

They key messages that outline some of the music industry’s key challenges and wide-ranging concerns are:

• The music industry has been among the worst hit by the impact of Covid-19.  It’s vital the furlough scheme and support for the self-employed are extended while the sector fights to get back on its feet.

• The music industry needs a reopening date that it can work towards as part of the Government’s 5-stage plan road map for the reopening of venues.

• The UK music industry needs a post-Brexit immigration system that promotes cultural exchange under a simplified new set-up for touring musicians, their crews and others in the sector.

• The UK must remain a world leader in copyright protection.  The Government must ensure the current high level of protection is maintained and enhanced to stop creators being ripped off.

• The Government should strike a deal with EU member states to make sure touring musicians, their crews and others in the sector do not face extra costs or added red tape.

• The Government should put in place a new National Plan for Music Education to ensure the talent pipeline which feeds our world-leading music industry is not put at risk.

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