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UK Nightlife Community Launches #LetUsDance Campaign
Christian Eede , July 24th, 2020 13:43

The initiative is calling upon the government to ensure that clubs are included in the £1.57 billion pandemic relief package for the arts

A number of UK music and arts bodies, and representatives of the nightlife community, have joined forces to launch a new campaign called #LetUsDance.

The initiative's key aim is to ensure that the government gives assurances that clubs and the general nightlife community will be fairly included in the allocation of the recently announced £1.57 billion pandemic relief package that has been set aside for the arts. The package, described upon its launch earlier this month as a "one-off investment in UK culture," was announced earlier in July, came with little detail as to which parts of the arts and culture sector will be eligible for financial support.

£880 million has been set aside for grants, while £270 million will be paid out in loans as part of the government's plan. The announcement at the start of July was naturally met with a lot of relief across the UK's arts and culture sector, but some venues and promoters still fear that nightlife organisations won't get the support they need from the fund.

The #LetUsDance campaign points out that while theatres and concert venues have been given clear signs that they will be able to apply for help, clubs and festivals have not been explicitly included in early stage information. The campaign has been organised by a body of different organisations that come together to form the UK Night Time Economy & Events Sector – which was also responsible for this month's initial #LetTheMusicPlay call for financial support.

"We are keen to gain assurances from [the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport] and government that dance music venues and nightclubs will be eligible to apply for the funding and that it will not be reserved purely for venues like the Royal Albert Hall and the West End," Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) CEO Michael Kill says. "The UK is home to a rich and diverse range of institutions, all of whom should be fairly entitled to this investment."

As well as supporting the hashtag via social media, the NTIA is calling on people to write to their local MP so that they can put additional pressure on the government to provide assurances to the UK's club and festival sector.

"London's dance venues and nightclubs are the envy of the world," Night Czar Amy Lamé said upon the campaign's launch. "They are a social hub for so many communities and a key part of our economy at night, but the government has failed to provide them with specific support or give an indication of when they can open their doors again.

"Like so many night-time venues, they have been hit hard by the impact of months of closure due to COVID-19 and are in urgent need of help. The government must make clear its commitment to protecting jobs in this vibrant sector to ensure that London's nightclubs not only survive this pandemic, but thrive beyond it."

Amongst those who've lent their support to the campaign are Roni Size, Thom Yorke, Irvine Welsh, Andy C, Four Tet, Massive Attack, Daniel Avery, and Maya Jane Coles.

To find out more about #LetUsDance, head here.