170,000 UK live music jobs lost by end of 2020
More than 26,000 permanent jobs will be lost in the live music industry before the end of the year if government support is withdrawn, new research published today (21 October) reveals.
In addition, 144,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) roles, including self-employed and freelance workers, will have effectively ceased to exist by the end of 2020, the new report, UK live music: At a cliff edge, shows.
Revenue into the industry has been almost zero since March, with a fall of 81% in 2020 compared to 2019 – four times the national UK average, where reductions across industries run at around 20%.
At a cliff edge – conducted by Chris Carey and Tim Chambers for Media Insight Consulting on behalf of LIVE (Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment), an umbrella group representing the UK live music industry – also reveals the positive contribution made by the Culture Recovery Fund, which has offered a lifeline to a range of businesses, but whose impact is tempered by 80% of employees still being reliant on the furlough scheme, which ends this month.
The report’s findings include:
- In 2019 live music supported 210,000 full-time equivalent roles, as well as tens of thousands of freelancers
- In 2019, live music contributed £4.5 billion to the UK economy
- In 2020, revenue in the live music business will fall by 81%, and revenue has been close to zero since March
- 76% of live music employees were utilising the furlough scheme, as of 31 August 2020
- 50% of permanent roles will be lost by the end of the year (26,100 jobs), while temporary and freelance roles have already been decimated
- The Culture Recovery Fund has had a significant impact, safeguarding around 10,000 at-risk employees (this is reflected in the headline statistics)
“This research shows clearly that the entire ecosystem is being decimated”
Following the lockdown in March, and the ongoing government restrictions on venues and events, many of those working within the live music sector have received no income at all. The new tier-two and three restrictions put further limitations on the sector reopening, while the sector is currently excluded from the government’s extended Job Support Scheme.
With recent indications from the prime minister that severe restrictions could be in place for a further six months, meaning a full year with next-to-no live music or revenues, the associations represented by Live – including the Entertainment Agents’ Association, Association for Electronic Music (AFEM), Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Concert Promoters Association (CPA), Music Managers Forum (MMF), National Arenas Association (NAA), Production Services Association (PSA) and Music Venue Trust (MVT) – are calling on the government to ensure the live business can benefit from new support measures.
Phil Bowdery, CPA chair, comments: “We were one of the first sectors to close and we will be one of the last to reopen. We are currently caught in a catch 22, where we are unable to operate due to government restrictions but are excluded from the extended Job Support Scheme as the furlough comes to an end. If businesses can’t access that support soon, then the majority of our specialist, highly trained workforce will be gone.”
“Those who have often found themselves overlooked and left behind throughout the last six months are the freelancers and self-employed – the people up and do the country that we rely on to bring us the live experiences we love,” adds PSA general manager Andy Lenthall. “Things are becoming increasingly desperate for a great many people in the industry and government needs to recognise that these crucial individuals need support.”
““Things are becoming increasingly desperate for a great many people in the industry”
Economist Chris Carey, who co-authored the report, says: “From the artists on stage, to the venues and the many specialist roles and occupations that make live music happen, this research shows clearly that the entire ecosystem is being decimated.”
The report includes sector-specific data on artists, managers, promoters, booking agents, venues, festivals, ticketing companies and technical suppliers, as well as case studies from some of those affected and comment from industry leaders.
“The Culture Recovery Fund is a help, especially to grassroots music venues,” continues Carey. “However, larger companies are going to be hit harder, and without ongoing government investment in protecting this industry, the UK will lose its place as a cultural leader in live entertainment.
“Moreover, the skills we lose in this time will significantly hinder the sector’s ability to recover and return to driving economic growth and supplying UK jobs.”
Download the report here.
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
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The Associates: NAA, Plasa, Prodiss
Covid-19 has impacted every business sector around the world, but with live entertainment likely to be one of the last industries to return, given social distancing regulations, the associations that represent its millions of employees have never been more important.
As restrictions in many countries enter yet another month, for issue 91 IQ found out more about some of our association partners and discovered just what they are doing to help their members navigate and survive.
Following the last instalment with Liveurope, Music Managers Forum and Music Venue Trust, this time we check in with the National Arenas Association, Plasa and Prodiss.
The National Arenas Association (UK & Ireland)
The National Arenas Association (NAA) represents 23 UK- and Republic of Ireland-based arenas, all of which have a capacity of 5,000 or more.
The organisation focuses on best practice, networking, and achieving consistency across the arena network.
The NAA also offers comprehensive training courses with a variety of modules for those working in the industry.
Membership fees are £1,400 (€1,570) per year, plus a contribution to the NAA training programme.
Throughout the pandemic situation, the NAA has been engaging with its members as much as possible through email, video meetings and regular steering committee meetings.
The chair of the NAA also sits on the board of the UK Live Music Group, which has been instrumental during this period, allowing arena operators to provide input to UK Music as a whole, which is continuously lobbying government on pertinent issues regarding venues and the live entertainment sector.
Along with the Concert Promoters Association and the British Association of Concert Halls, the NAA has also formed a working group to focus on the reopening of venues.
The chair of the association is there to answer questions from any members of the NAA.
The NAA offers comprehensive training courses with a variety of modules for those working in the industry
Plasa is the lead membership body for those who supply technologies and services to the event and entertainment industries.
Its members represent global manufacturers and distributors; production specialists; iconic venues; regional rental houses; and freelancers.
Plasa members work across the complete spectrum of events and entertainment, with involvement in concerts and touring; festivals; performing arts; film and TV; and major sporting projects.
It’s all about pro-audio, all kinds of lighting, pyrotechnics, lasers, smoke machines, massive screens, special effects, set and staging, and most importantly, creative people who love what they do.
Plasa currently has 425 company and individual members from all sectors of the industry. Business membership costs £350-1,100 (€390-1240).
Organisations such as industry bodies and education institutes can join for £200 (€225), and individuals can join for only £95 (€106).
As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, Plasa stepped up, lobbying the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Department for International Trade, to secure the same valuable support available to other sectors.
Recently, Plasa collaborated with like-minded associations in the entertainment sector to launch the #EventsForTheFuture initiative with the collective aim of amplifying that voice.
The association has conducted two member surveys looking at the short-term and predicted long-term impacts of the pandemic, and experiences of accessing government support.
The results of both have since been published and shared with government.
Plasa members work across the complete spectrum of events and entertainment
Prodiss is the principal organisation representing the live music industry (promoters, festivals and venues) in France.
Its 400 member companies account for 80% of the turnover of the French live sector.
Prodiss acts as an ambassador for its members, providing a united voice when dealing with public, national and European institutions, in order to defend their interests and lobby for a legislative and regulatory framework that is favourable to live industry development.
The organisation encompasses complementary activities that provide its members with practical and essential services (such as legal, economical, etc.) that accelerate and strengthen their competitiveness.
Prodiss is managed by Malika Séguineau, and its board of directors is chaired by Corida promoter Olivier Darbois.
Prodiss has estimated that the loss of revenue for its member companies throughout the coronavirus pandemic is around €1.8billion.
At the start of the crisis, they set up a strategic action unit, both for its members and to form the communication chain with the government.
Crisis management has included daily individual legal support for members; monitoring of legislative and economical developments related to Covid-19; situation analysis at economical level; and crisis exit scenarios.
The trade body has also organised numerous working groups related to the issues of ticketing, insurance, health protocols, and economic support.
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
UK live industry cautiously welcomes £1.57bn aid
British live music industry leaders have said they stand ready to work closely with government on the details of its £1.57 billion culture rescue fund, but cautioned that the whole live music ecosystem must be protected.
The financial aid package of emergency grants and loans must also be complemented by an exemption in VAT for the sector, a government-backed insurance scheme for shows and a conditional date for reopening, they say.
Sunday’s announcement about the support package followed the hugely successful #LetTheMusicPlay day, which saw 1,500 artists write directly to culture secretary Oliver Dowden and tens of millions of fans posting online about the importance of live music, a £4.5bn sector that employs 210,000 people.
The campaign, coordinated by members of the UK Live Music Group and Concert Promoters’ Association (CPA), with additional support from UK Music, trended at No1 globally on Twitter and attracted media coverage around the world.
“Thousands of artists, venues, festivals, managers, agents, promoters and production crew came together for #LetTheMusicPlay, and we must ensure that all of them receive the support that they so desperately need,” says Phil Bowdery, chair of the CPA.
“We stand ready to work closely with the government to ensure that this world-class industry survives”
“We stand ready to work closely with the government to ensure that this world-class industry survives.”
Live music was one of the first industries to close as a result of the coronavirus crisis, and concerts are not expected to return in full force until well into 2021. According to member research compiled by live music associations over the six month period between October 2020 and March 2021, the operating costs of the broader live music sector will be £298.8million. This figure is in addition to the £47m required by grassroots music venues, called for by Music Venue Trust.
“The government’s £1.57bn package for the arts is welcome, but we lack detail of how funding will be allocated for music,” comments Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of the Music Managers Forum. “The thousands who work and perform in our sector desperately require comprehensive support if their jobs and livelihoods are to be sustained.”
Kilimanjaro Live MD Stuart Galbraith, co-chair of the CPA, adds: “We are ready to work on the details of the scheme, and our other requests – a VAT exemption for the sector, a government-backed insurance scheme to allow shows to go ahead, and a timeline for safe reopening without social distancing – at the government’s convenience.
“We look forward to this ongoing discussion shortly.”
UK biz awaits reopening info as sector faces ‘mass closures’
Industry associations in the UK have called on the government for sector-specific support and “absolute clarity” on reopening, as it is estimated that 90% of venues and festivals in the country face permanent closure.
According to the UK Live Music Group, which sits within trade body UK Music as the collective voice of promoters, festivals, agents, venues and production services, nearly a billion pounds will be wiped off the value of the UK music industry without state support and clarity on when – and how – live events will return.
Last week, grassroots venues representative the Music Venue Trust (MVT) asked for “an immediate cash injection” of £50 million, warning that a lack of immediate aid will result in “mass closures” of venues over the summer months.
The organisation also proposes a one-off cut in value-added tax (VAT) on ticket sales for the next three years for venues and promoters.
MVT states that the industry is currently facing “a substantial loss of infrastructure”, with nine out of ten venues and the festivals in the country at risk of permanent closure.
“Frustration and anger is growing within the sector to get some absolute clarity on when businesses will be able to reopen and what extended provision will be available to businesses unable to open under the measures presented by government”
The charity’s Save Our Venues campaign has so far raised £2m, providing short-term relief for many venues. However, “relying on donations simply isn’t sustainable as we move into a recovery phase”, says MVT CEO Mark Davyd, who recently spoke on an IQ Focus panel on the difficulties facing grassroots music venues.
The call comes as the UK’s Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) criticises the government for “procrastinating” over the future.
“Frustration and anger is growing within the sector to get some absolute clarity on when businesses will be able to reopen and what extended provision will be available to businesses unable to open under the measures presented by government,” comments NTIA CEO Michael Kill.
Kill says that “consistent ambiguous messaging” from the government has increased “the level of anxiety” amongst business owners.
“At what point is the government going to realise that we are playing with people’s livelihoods here, and businesses and jobs are being lost with every passing day?” asks Kill.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce details of the next phase of reopening – starting from 4 July – tomorrow (23 June), with updates anticipated for businesses across the hospitality sector.
The outcome of a review on the possible relaxation of the two metre social distancing rule is also expected in the coming days.
UK industry calls for clarity, timetable for reopenings
Nearly a billion pounds will be wiped off the value of the UK music industry without immediate government action to support the live sector, industry leaders have warned.
Thousands of jobs will be lost and the British music business – which formerly contributed £5.2bn a year to the UK economy – will suffer £900 million (€1bn) in losses from the impact of coronavirus without urgent state support, the UK Live Music Group has said.
The group, which sits within trade body UK Music as the collective voice of promoters, festivals, agents, venues and production services, is calling for, among other measures, clarity on when live events will be allowed to return – as has already happened in many European countries, including the Netherlands, Norway and Spain – as well as any social-distancing protocols that will need to remain place when they do.
As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, three quarters of the industry’s workforce is furloughed, with little certainty about when their jobs might return.
“We’ll need more support from government to survive”
In addition to job losses, the impact of Covid-19 means that further government support is also necessary to prevent more than 550 grassroots music venues going under, according to the group. Additionally, a recent Association of Independent Festivals survey found that 92% of its members, chiefly small and mid-sized summer events, are facing imminent collapse.
The group has identified the following areas in which government help is needed:
- A continuation of all existing employment schemes and business support packages until the live music industry recovers
- Value-added tax (VAT) breaks on ticket sales for a minimum of 18 months (to give festivals, concerts and live events time to see the results)
- Additional financial support to ensure that landlords provide rent-free periods to music-venue tenants
- Extension of business rate relief to the entire live music supply chain, include service companies and sound and lighting suppliers
- Clear guidance about when professionally run, licensed events can resume, in order to allow operators to properly plan a recovery
- Clarity around social distancing which takes into account the range of different venue sizes, some of whom may not be able to reopen until measures are further relaxed
Newly appointed UK Music chair Tom Watson says: “The music industry is really hurting. Parts of the sector are effectively on life support and will need a sustained package of help from the government to survive.
“The support for our world-leading industry must continue”
“The music industry has joined forces and is doing its best to look after its people through a fantastic network of hardship funds. As the world slowly emerges from the international lockdown, the UK cannot afford to leave behind its economy-boosting music industry. We’ll need more support from government to survive and remain a long-term contributor to the economy.
“If we are to nurture the next generation of British stars like Adele, Stormzy and Ed Sheeran, we need the government to listen and act to ensure our music industry remains the envy of the world.”
“The government must not abandon the music industry, which is such a vital part of our economy, culture and social fabric,” adds Lucy Noble, artistic and commercial director of the Royal Albert Hall and chair of the National Arenas Association.
“The support for our world-leading industry must continue until we have a chance to get back on our feet.”
No event ban necessary in UK, says gov medical adviser
There will be no ban on live events and other large-scale mass gatherings in the UK in the immediate future, a senior government medical adviser has told the UK events industry.
In a conference call with event organisers, including members of the UK Live Music Group, this afternoon (2 March), the deputy chief medical officer (CMO) said there is “no clear rationale” for closing events in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, as has happened in other European countries, including France, Switzerland
Based on the biomathematical models of the virus’s spread, the current guidance is that stopping events is not necessary, Jonathan Van-Tam said, adding that the principal places of infection are the home, schools and workplace. With the virus having a relatively small radius of infection (two metres), pubs and public transport were noted as being more likely to be a source of transmission than events.
The government will look at the evidence on a case by case basis as the situation unfolds, he added.
Pubs and public transport were noted as being more likely to be a source of transmission than events
The deputy CMO’s advice comes ILMC kicks off in Kensington, London, from tomorrow (3 March). The ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) and Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) take place during the day, with the ILMC opening party beginning at 6pm that evening.
With Covid-19 high on the agenda, all ILMC delegates are welcome to attend IPM’s session on event cancellation, Don’t Stop Me Now!: The consequences of show cancellations, at 16:30 tomorrow – while coronavirus is also slated for discussion during ILMC’s main opening session on Wednesday 4 March, the Open Forum, with Paul Latham, CAA’s Emma Banks, UTA’s David Zedeck and more.
For more information and the full ILMC agenda (including IPM, GEI and Futures Forum), visit 32.ilmc.com.
The decade in live: 2011
The start of a new year and, perhaps more significantly, a new decade is fast approaching – and while many may be thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve plans and well-meaning 2020 resolutions, IQ is casting its mind back to the most pivotal industry moments of the last ten years.
Following on from the 2010 synopsis, IQ looks to 2011, a year in which rising unemployment and astronomical national debts continued to take its toll on spending habits. The live industry experienced a slower period, indicating signs of maturity after years of fast growth.
Extreme weather led to festival cancellations and, tragically, the loss of lives at Pukkelpop and Indiana State Fair. Festival attendance, however, stayed strong, with festival bosses commenting that the demand for festivals was definitely still there.
2011 also saw U2 take the crown for the most successful concert tour in history, dethroning the Rolling Stones with their mammoth 360° tour. The Irish rockers were on course to retain the record into the new decade, too, before Ed Sheeran came along.
2011 in numbers
Worldwide, the top 50 tours grossed US$3.07 billion in 2011, up from $2.9bn the previous year.
According to Pollstar, U2 were the most successful band of 2011. A back injury sustained by Bono in 2010 saw many dates on the 360° tour postponed to the following year, with the band selling 2.4 million tickets over the year – at an average price of $97 each.
The stadium tour, which typically drew crowds of almost 92,000 per show, grossed $231.9m in 2011, adding to the $133.6m earned on the 2010 leg.
Other major tours of 2011 included Take That’s reunion tour with Robbie Williams ($224m), the Bon Jovi Live tour ($148.8), Taylor Swift’s Speak Now tour ($104.2m) and Roger Waters’ The Wall Live tour ($103.6m).
2011 in brief
AEG opens the 52,000-cap. Türk Telekom Arena in Istanbul, later winning the contract to manage the 12,500-cap. Ülker Arena in the same city.
Serbia’s Exit Festival ends its business relationship with Charmenko agency and begins booking international artists directly.
Ticketmaster buys Spanish ticketing company ServiCaixa, allowing it to sell tickets through over 8,000 ATMs owned by financial services company and bank La Caixa.
Live Nation takes full control of Front Line Management, with its founder Irving Azoff becoming chairman of the Live Nation board, taking over from Liberty Media’s John Malone.
Nelly Furtado announces she is giving the $1m fess she was paid for performing in front of Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi in 2007 to charity. Beyoncé follows suit.
President of Madison Square Garden Jay Marciano moves to London to take up a new role as CEO of AEG Europe.
Irving Azoff took over as Live Nation chairman in 2011 (© Full Stop Management)
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) figures show that global music sales fell $1.4bn in 2010, with the UK market dropping 11%, the US dropping 10% and Japan dropping 8.3%.
U2’s 360° tour becomes the highest-grossing tour of all time, beating the Rolling Stones’ Bigger Bang tour record of $554m. 360° is set to gross over $700m by the time it ends.
US ticketing company Eventbrite, which integrates social media and mobile, announces a $50m influx of venture-capital finance.
Gil Scott-Heron dies in New York at the age of 62.
German festival promoter Folkert Koopmans announces his second Swedish festival in Norrköping, the 50,000-cap. Bråvalla Festival, following the January acquisition of Hultsfred Festival.
Bloomberg reports that AEG plans to refinance the O2 Arena in London with a £150m ($240m) loan and equity injection.
Promoter Vince Power raises £6.5m ($10.4m) by floating his company, Music Festivals, on London’s Alternative Investment Market exchange.
SMG secures a management contract for Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile, its first in South America.
AEG launches its new ticketing system, AXS, in several Denver and San Francisco theatres. The system includes a mobile app and social media integration.
Belgium’s Pukkelpop creates a private foundation to support the victims of the storm that claimed five lives at the festival on 19 August.
Global entertainment giant Vivendi buys UK number two ticketer See Tickets for a sum thought to be around £80m ($128m).
eBay announces it will launch secondary resale platform StubHub in the UK, the first market it will have operated in outside of the US.
Santiago’s Movistar Arena (© Movistar Arena)
German powerhouse FKP Scorpio continues its buying spree by taking a majority stake in Sweden’s Getaway Festival.
2011’s biggest-selling artist, Adele, undergoes throat surgery to repair damaged vocal chords, forcing her to cancel all remaining tour dates and promotional appearance for the year.
Bankers Citigroup agree to sell EMI Music to Universal Music Group for $1.9bn, while EMI Music Publishing will become part of Sony ATV in a $2.2bn deal.
Michael Jackson’s physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is found guilty of manslaughter.
Live Nation emerges victorious in the saga for the rights to run the new €134m 15,000-capacity arena in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Seatwave chief Joe Cohen denies speculation the ticket resale company is in financial trouble, despite reports it has amassed losses of €40m since 2007.
Amy Winehouse (1983-2011) © Republic Records (cropped)
Who we lost
In 2011, the music industry lost a number of important figures, including Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty, 63; agent Ron Baird, who opened CAA’s Nashville office in 1991, 60; legendary soul and jazz musician Gil Scott Heron, 62; Willie Robertson, co-founder of insurance specialist Robertson Taylor, 67; award-winning singer Amy Winehouse, 27; Academy Music Group founder John Northcote, 62.
UK Live hails new Ireland visa waiver process
Britain’s live music industry has welcomed new Home Office rules that will allow non-EAA artists, bands and sportspeople to enter the UK from the Irish republic, and work for up to three months, without a visa.
The new entry arrangements, announced today (28 February), will put an end to the requirement for individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EAA) working in the creative and sporting industries to apply for a visa to perform in the UK when entering through the Republic of Ireland.
The change follows months of meetings between Home Office officials, UK Music and the UK Live Music Group, whose members include the Concert Promoters Association, Entertainment Agents’ Association and International Live Music Conference (ILMC).
UK Music and the Live Music Group wrote to the government last October to urge a rethink of guidance that forced non-EAA, and particularly American, artists to apply for UK visas when entering via Ireland. According to the letter, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) altered the guidance in August 2017 so that visiting entertainers from countries such as the US and Canada would require British visas – changes, they allege, that were not properly advertised, with no consultation was held with industry stakeholders, with the result that “it was virtually unknown across the industry very recently.”
“Ensuring the best international talent can perform in the UK is vital for the creative industries’ continued success”
Commenting today, UK Music CEO Michael Dugher says: “I am delighted to have worked, alongside our Live Music group, with the Home Office to identify a solution so that non-EU artists and their crews can still enter the UK via Ireland under a certificate of sponsorship.
“The live music industry, which contributes around £1 billion to the economy, will put this into practice so that we can continue to attract the biggest and most talented global artists to perform at our world-leading concerts, festivals and venues.”
Eligible individuals will still be required to have a certificate of sponsorship (COS) under the Tier 5 (temporary worker – creative and sporting) route, which has been in existence since 2008.
Steve Richard, of T&S Immigration Services, who has been “struggling for [the new rules] since at least last May”, welcomed the changes, saying they should put an end to confusion around the rules for entering the UK through its nearest neighbour.
Previously, he tells IQ, passengers travelling on Aer Lingus flights from the US to London or Manchester – but which stop off in Dublin first – “don’t realise they’re even going to see Irish immigration, so they land in Dublin and find their cards aren’t valid, their COSes aren’t valid – sometimes Irish immigration don’t even know what the COS is. We’ve had musicians slung in jail overnight for not having the proper documents.”
“I am delighted to have worked, alongside our Live Music group, with the Home Office to identify a solution”
Richard also reveals T&S has already trialled the new system several times, and “it’s worked perfectly so far”.
Commenting on the new regulations, Caroline Nokes, minister of state for immigration at the Home Office, says in a statement: “Our creative industries are world leading. Not only do we produce elite talent, but we also host some of the most exciting live events in the world.
“Ensuring the best international talent can perform in the UK is vital for the creative industries’ continued success and that is why we launched this new process, ensuring creative talent can easily arrive to perform in the UK directly from Ireland. I look forward to continuing to work with UK Music and the wider sector so our leading live music industry can continue to thrive.”
Detailed information on the Common Travel Area (CTS) between Britain and Ireland, including all forms and guidance, can be found on the Gov.UK website.
UK industry rallies around MVT’s pipeline fund
All major UK music industry associations have signed a statement of intent pledging to tackle the crisis facing Britain’s grassroots music venues.
Signatories including UK Live Music, the Concert Promoters Association, the National Arena Association, the Entertainment Agents’ Association, the Musicians’ Union and the Music Managers Forum have announced their support for a Pipeline Investment Fund (PIF) to tackle the root causes leading to music venue closures.
Beverley Whitrick, strategic director of Music Venue Trust (MVT) – which introduced the PIF concept at Venues Day in October – explains: “We asked the UK music industry to sign up to the concept that we need to take collective financial action on the challenges facing grassroots venues.
“We are delighted with the response from the industry and the willingness to find positive, constructive solutions so that we can properly protect the grassroots music venues pipeline from which, ultimately, everyone benefits.”
The aims of the Pipeline Investment Fund include funding infrastructure, sound and lighting in grassroots venues; placing venues into protected ownership by acquiring freeholds; creating training and apprenticeship schemes; and offering centralised legal, planning and licensing advice.
Following the signing of the statement of intent, the signatories will begin working together in early 2019 to identify funding solutions.
“With 35% of the UK’s grassroots venues having closed over the last ten years, it’s time for the industry to act,” says Greg Parmley, chair of UK Live Music and managing director of the ILMC. “We need structured and planned investment to secure these vital spaces against development, rent rises, poor infrastructure and failing facilities.”
Other signatories include the Music Industries Association, Production Services Association, Featured Artists Coalition, Association of Independent Festivals and Association of Festival Organisers.
Andrew Parsons, MD of Ticketmaster UK, comments: “Grassroots music venues are an essential part of the live music scene. We have been working with Music Venue Trust for over four years to ensure that these iconic buildings can continue to showcase the next generation of talent.
“We welcome the Pipeline Investment Fund initiative to look at ways that our industry can secure the legacy of these venues for many years to come.”
“AEG is committed to working with our partners in the live music industry to find a solution to the critical challenges faced by Grassroots Music Venues,” adds John Langford of AEG Europe. “The Pipeline Investment Fund is an opportunity to deliver real, practical and urgent action right across the music industry.”
UK Live Music Group appoints new chair
International Live Music Conference (ILMC) managing director Greg Parmley has been named the new chair of the UK Live Music Group.
Parmley succeeds outgoing chair Paul Latham, president and COO of Live Nation UK, who announced his retirement last month after more than three decades in the live music industry.
The UK Live Music Group, which meets every six weeks, is represented on the board of UK Music, the umbrella association for the UK music industry. The group contributes to UK Music’s policy development and brings together various component parts of Britain’s live music business.
In addition to ILMC, UK Live comprises the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), Concert Promoters Association (CPA), Entertainment Agents Association (AAGB), National Arenas Association (NAA), Production Services Association (PSA), Music Venue Trust (MVT) and Association for Electronic Music (AFEM).
“UK Live has achieved an enormous amount under Paul’s watch, and while his are some extremely big shoes to fill, I’m excited to be taking the group forward,” comments Parmley. “With live music’s role in the wider music value chain more significant than ever, and issues from Brexit to secondary ticketing on the table, there’s a lot to do in the coming months.”
“Greg commands huge respect in the live music industry. He is the ideal person to take on the mantle”
Previous wins for the UK Live Music Group include:
- Campaigning alongside Music Venue Trust to achieve the introduction of the agent-of-change principle in England, Wales and Scotland to protect music venues from closure
- Securing progress in the elimination of barriers connected to touring visas, both for inbound performers and crews and for UK acts travelling overseas
- The introduction of the Live Music Act 2012, supporting economic growth in the live music industry by 51% over the past five years
- Organising the UK live music industry’s response to Brexit, responding to developments in the secondary ticketing market and supporting initiatives to improve accessibility at live events, and securing industry agreed positions in all these areas
- Contributing data and analysis for UK Music’s headline reports on music tourism and the economic value of the music industry
UK Music CEO Michael Dugher says: “Greg is someone who commands huge respect in the live music industry. He is the ideal person to take on the mantle from Paul Latham and ensure the UK Live Music Group continues to develop a proactive agenda and deliver real results for the sector.”
He adds: “I want to thank Paul Latham for his immense contribution and achievements, as well as in bringing the group together in the first place.
“Live music contributes around £1 billion to the British economy and it is a fast-growing sector. It provides opportunities and a livelihood for so many people, not just artists and musicians but everyone else who works in the sector. Helped by Greg’s leadership, UK Music will continue to provide a strong, high profile voice for live music.”