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Government Needs to Act Urgently to Protect Musicians After Latest Lockdown Delay Announcement

The MU is urging the Government to review some of its restrictions following today’s announcement of a four-week delay to the lifting of lockdown restrictions in England.

Published: 14 June 2021 | 8:50 PM Updated: 15 June 2021 | 1:24 PM
Photograph of a sunny festival camping scene, blankers, chairs and tents are strewn around.
“We’ve been calling for a Government backed insurance scheme to shore up the industry and nothing has yet materialised.“ Photo credit: Shutterstock

Festivals, gigs and theatre productions are all facing cancellations unless the Government acts quickly to put in place events insurance and other financial assistance. Likewise, the Government decision to limit numbers allowed in amateur choir practice should be urgently reviewed.

Research published last week showed that a four-week delay to the Government’s roadmap would cost the live music sector over £500m, with the summer festival season at risk of total collapse. 65% of festivals said they were set to collapse in the event of a five-week delay.

We will be urgently speaking to the DCMS and the Government

MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge commented on the announcement:

“This delay is beyond frustrating for musicians and the live music industry. Of course safety is paramount. However we have been engaged in discussions with Ministers and Officials about a safe relaxation of the restrictions since the first lockdown, we’ve contributed to guidance and health and safety measures employed at various pilot events have been a great success.

“Our members and industry are among the worst hit by the Covid-19 crisis and this last minute delay is likely to lead to thousands of lost opportunities.’

MU Deputy General Secretary Naomi Pohl added:

“Musicians can’t afford to lose any more work. Over 30% of them have had no Government support during the crisis and most are still able to undertake only a fraction of their usual paid engagements.

“We’ve been calling for a Government backed insurance scheme to shore up the industry and nothing has yet materialised. Cancelled events result in no payments to the musicians in most cases. Our world renowned live events industry, including all the wonderful grassroots music venues, theatres and festivals, have been planning for 21 June. I just hope we don’t see large numbers go under. It’s disastrous.

“The MU will be urgently speaking to the DCMS and the Government to try as far as is possible to reduce the impact of this delay on musicians.”

England remains in Step 3

The government has announced a 4-week pause at Step 3. Step 3 restrictions remain in place, and you should follow the guidance on this page, which explains what you can and cannot do.

Further announcements for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

The Prime Minister’s announcement affects England only. The latest information for the other nations can be found on our Covid-19 Restrictions page.

There is also some suggestion that Scotland will delay their planned move to level 0 from 28 June until August, and we are likely to know more after the First Minister is due to give an update in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 15 June.

Northern Ireland will be announcing their decision on the planned wider easing of restrictions for 21 June this Thursday on 17 June. We will be updating information for members in Wales soon.

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