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UK Music Issues Call For Industry Support Amid Slow Recovery
Christian Eede , September 22nd, 2022 19:07

The UK's music and events industry has been hit is continuing to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit bureaucracy and the cost of living crisis

The UK's music industry is almost a third smaller than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic began, a new report shared by UK Music has found.

The organisation – which represents artists, record labels, figures within the live music industry and more – is calling for a package of targeted support to help the UK's music industry as its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to slow down even more amid Brexit bureaucracy and a cost of living crisis.

Among the ideas put forward by UK Music to help the UK's music industry are the introduction of a tax relief programme (similar to the one already set up for the film, TV and gaming industries); a VAT cut to five percent for struggling music venues; and a simplification of restrictions affecting artists and workers who are trying to tour between Europe and the UK.

The latest edition of UK Music's annual This Is Music report found that the music industry's contribution to the UK economy rose 26 percent year-on-year to £4bn in 2021, but it points out that this remains 31 percent down on the record £5.8bn that it contributed in 2019, underlining that the industry is still struggling to recover from the effects of the pandemic. This all comes amid a backdrop of clubs and gig venues reporting struggles to sell tickets for events as the cost of living crisis continues to take hold.

The report includes some good news that streaming figures and sales of CD and vinyl increased amid the pandemic, but the live music industry, it warns, continues to face a "fragile and precarious" recovery with many festivals, club events and live music gigs being forced to cancel due to low ticket sales.

More than a third of music industry workers lost their jobs in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, and though this rose by 14 percentl ast year to 145,000 workers, the figures are still significantly lower than the 197,000 that were employed across the UK's music industry in 2019.

"The industry has been hit by rocketing costs right across the supply chain, and unless venues, studios and other music businesses get the help they need, there is a serious risk that they could be forced to close their doors for good," UK Music warned.

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, UK Music's chief executive, added: "The UK music industry is working hard to recover after the catastrophic impact of COVID, but there is still some way to go to restore the jobs and growth lost during the pandemic. Our sector still faces a serious threat from the economic storm that could blow our fragile recovery off course without urgent Government support.

"It's vital that Government acts to protect and support a sector that creates jobs, contributes to the economy and matters to millions of people across our country."

Read the full report here.