24.03.2021: Around 200 music lovers tuned in on Tuesday to watch our UK Music panel: “Lockdown One Year On: How do we ensure that the music industry can deliver the sounds of summer?”
Chaired by UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, our expert panel included Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music and Somerton and Frome MP David Warburton, founding member of the BRIT award-winning Mumford & Sons and venue owner/promoter Ben Lovett, Director of Communications and Strategy at Boomtown Fair Anna Wade, Chief Executive of Help Musicians UK James Ainscough and singer/songwriter Roxanne de Bastion.
The panel reflected on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last year which has decimated the live music sector. In particular, they focussed on the thousands of freelancers across the industry who have been left in financial turmoil and on the impact on their well-being.
While the discussion welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap for reopening and the indicative dates, the need for a Government-backed insurance scheme was highlighted as a key factor in getting live events back up and running. (There is a video below of the full panel discussion.)
To ensure shows can take place this summer, the need to be incentivising skilled technical staff back to the industry was raised.
The panel warned of the potential impact of Brexit on the live sector, highlighting concerns about the costs and red tape facing new and emerging artists.
The panel also noted that the last year had seen an outstanding show of solidarity across the industry in what has been a hugely difficult time for so many.
Speaking at the event, Anna Wade of Boomtown said: “This moment for pause and reflection on where we have been has been an amazing moment and made us realise the sheer need everyone has for culture. That’s something we can all be incredibly proud of and we need to fight to protect”.
On the issue of touring in in the EU post-Brexit, Roxanne de Bastion said: “I couldn’t have built my career up in the way that I have without touring in mainland Europe. We need to find solutions that will allow artists to continue to tour across Europe.”
Touring across Europe post-Brexit is a big issue for the industry said APPG Chair David Warburton MP who added: “There is a huge cross-party group of MPs and the industry who are pushing the Government.”
Warning of a shortage of key music industry workers & equipment in what could be a hugely busy concert season, Ben Lovett said: “We’ve got to find a way to work together to make sure these tours can actually happen.”
Voicing his support for a Government-backed insurance scheme, James Ainscough of Help Musicians UK said: “We support the cause for insurance because we see a direct link between that and people’s mental health.”
UK Music took a snap poll of the audience at the end of the event. Of those who took part, 43% of attendees said they were somewhat confident live music events would take place this summer and a further 12% said they were very confident.
Afterwards, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin thanked the panel for their “brilliant insights” in a fascinating conversation, adding: “We are fortunate to have such powerful advocates for our world-leading industry.”Back to news