The first #LetTheMusicPlay campaign on 1st July 2020 was a huge success, with the whole music industry coming together like never before. Some incredible facts from the day include:
- The letter to Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, was signed by over 5,000 artists, production crew, and venue owners and ran to 57 pages of A4.
- We had coverage in every UK paper, every broadcast outlet, and in 83 countries worldwide. Jools Holland, Beverley Knight, Ben Lovett, Emma Banks, KT Tunstall, Simone Butler, David Gray, and Paul Weller all appeared on TV and radio as part of the campaign
- #LetTheMusicPlay achieved hundreds of millions of social media hits, trending at #1 globally on Twitter for 3 hours, and trending at #1 in the UK all day.
- An image of the hashtag was projected on famous venues – big and small – including the Royal Albert Hall, O2, Roundhouse, and London Palladium
The following week, a £1.57bn financial package for the cultural sector was announced by the Government. The announcement was brought forward, and the amount significantly increased to include live music, following the campaign. A subsequent announcement to reduce VAT from 20% to 5% didn’t originally include tickets for live music events, but was also extended to cover them following the campaign. A conditional roadmap to re-open live events is now a key focus for DCMS and the Cabinet Office.
The first #LetTheMusicPlay campaign achieved an enormous amount in a very short time. But the live music industry is still in crisis. It’s vital that this industry, which is worth £4.5bn to the UK’s economy and employs 210,000 people, continues to have its voice heard. That’s why we’re asking people to:
- Post an end of tour or event crew photo, or a photo of you and your ‘crew’, with the hashtag#LetTheMusicPlay, OR
- Post some of the pre-made social graphics which can be downloaded here.
- Encourage your colleagues, networks, family and friends to do the same.
Phil Bowdery, Chair of the Concert Promoters Association, said: “Venues and events are still unable to fully open, and so the industry still faces a cliff edge of redundancies. The measures that we’ve seen from Government over the past few weeks are hugely welcome, but we still need a date to reopen, and a scheme to insure shows so that they can go ahead. The second round of LetTheMusicPlay aims to highlight that the broader ecosystem of the live music business remains in crisis.”
UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade, with venues, concerts, and festivals supporting 210,000 jobs across the country and adding £4.5bn to the economy in 2019. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for venues, concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.
Until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and the end of this world-leading industry.
On July 2nd 2020, the Concert Promoters Association and a coalition of live music businesses including artists, venues, concerts, festivals, production companies and industry figures launched a campaign to highlight the importance of the sector to the UK’s economy. The campaign asked people to share on social media a film or photo of the last gig they played or saw with the hashtag #LetTheMusicPlay.
If you’d like to add your support, you can download shareable graphics and quotes from some of the country’s biggest artists here. Post them on your social media to show how important UK live music is to you, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #LetTheMusicPlay.
Read the joint letter
Dear Secretary of State,
UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. From world-famous festivals to ground-breaking concerts, the live music industry showcases, supports, and develops some of the best talent in the world – on and off-stage.
As important as it is, our national and regional contribution isn’t purely cultural. Our economic impact is also significant, with live music adding £4.5bn to the British economy and supporting 210,000 jobs across the country in 2019.
Like 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. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.
This sector doesn’t want to ask for government help. The promoters, festival organisers, and other employers want to be self-sufficient, as they were before lockdown. But, until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies, and the end of this great British industry.
Government has addressed two important British pastimes – football and pubs – and it’s now crucial that it focuses on a third, live music. For the good of the economy, the careers of emerging British artists, and the UK’s global music standing, we must ensure that a live music industry remains when the pandemic has finally passed.
Leading UK artists, music professionals & venues (read the full list of signatories here)
If you would like to add your name to this letter, please use the form here: