Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Lewis Capaldi are among the 1,500 people who’ve signed a letter asking the U.K. government to support the live music industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter, addressed to the U.K.’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, was signed by artists who would otherwise have been performing at festivals this summer.
Others signing on to the campaign include Coldplay, Sam Smith, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones, as well as crew members and venues.
“Live music has been one of the U.K.’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade,” reads the letter. “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.”
According to Music Week, the live music sector supports some 210,000 jobs and adds billions to the economy, but tens of thousands may find themselves out of a job in the coming year.
Among the requests: a “clear, conditional timeline” for reopening venues, plus financial support and a tax exemption on ticket sales.
In a statement, Dua Lipa said, “From the very start, playing live concerts up and down the country has been a cornerstone for my own career…But the possibility for other emerging British artists to take the same path is in danger if the industry doesn’t receive much needed government support…before all the various venues, festivals and promoters are ready and able to operate independently again.”
The secretary responded on Twitter, “I understand the deep anxiety of those working in music & the desire to see fixed dates for reopening. I am pushing hard for these dates & to give you a clear roadmap back.”
By Andrea Dresdale
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