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Ask Your MLAs to Support Musicians During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Music is a crucial part of the creative economy in Northern Ireland. Live music is worth £70m in GVA and generates £8m in music tourism. But all this is on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic, with real consequences for musicians.

Published: 29 September 2020 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:31 PM
Photograph of an empty stage set up in a band, with double bass, drum kit and piano.
We’re calling on MU members in Northern Ireland to write to their MLAs in support of the music industry and the musicians who make it. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Following the latest announcements from the Executive effectively banning live music, and the MU’s open letter in response, we’re calling on MU members in Northern Ireland to write to their MLAs in support of the music industry and the musicians who make it.

Write to your MLAs

Write to your MLAs using our template letter below. Remember to include how you are affected by the coronavirus pandemic – personal stories make all the difference.

You can find your MLAs’ email addresses via the Northern Ireland Assembly.

I am writing to express my concerns about the Executive’s approach to music and live performance.

Music is a crucial part of the creative economy in Northern Ireland. Live music is worth £70m in GVA and generates £8m in music tourism. This has all been put on hold by Covid-19.

Musicians’ Union research reveals that:

  • 33% musicians fall through gaps in Government support schemes
  • 87% will be earning less than £20,000 this year
  • 70% are unable to take more than a quarter of their usual work
  • 65% are already facing financial hardship
  • 47% have been forced to seek work outside of the music industry
  • 36% do not have any work at all

As a result, 34% musicians are considering leaving the industry, with 37% not sure about their futures.

Westminster will only support musicians to the tune of 20% of their trading profits. We are still waiting to find out how the Executive’s £29m for arts, culture and heritage will support musicians and freelancers.

Please raise these issues in the Assembly, and put pressure on the Executive to support the music industry and the musicians who make it.

You can contact the Musicians’ Union directly for briefings and more information about how you can support musicians in your constituency and across Northern Ireland.

Find out more about the MU’s lobbying asks and write to your MP about meaningful financial support in our Covid-19 advice hub – where you will also find the latest news and advice for musicians.

Get MU membership today

From gig players to part-time teachers and professional instrumentalists, MU members can access specialist insurance for musicians. This includes accident cover, health schemes, travel insurance and car insurance add-ons through the Musicians’ Union.

Explore our member services

  • Get public liability insurance for musicians
  • Access expert legal support
  • Be represented in your profession
  • Access expert career advice, resources, and training events
  • Connect, network, and get to know the community of musicians

Learn about all membership benefits

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