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Keep Northern Ballet Live Petition Surges Past 10,000 Signatures

Over 10,000 people have signed the petition urging Arts Council England to keep Northern Ballet music live.

Published: 27 November 2023 | 5:21 PM
Some of the musicians and supporters from the demo at Newcastle Theatre Royal on 10 November, holding MU banners and signs saying “Keep Northern Ballet Live”.
Musicians from the Sinfonia and supporters from across the union movement joined together in Newcastle for a demo to keep Northern Ballet Live. Image credit: James Smith, © TUC Northern.

Over 10,000 people have signed Northern Ballet Sinfonia’s petition to keep Northern Ballet live.

The petition calls on Arts Council England and Northern Ballet to get round the table and agree a realistic funding package that will protect musicians’ jobs and live ballet that is genuinely live.

Have you signed the petition yet? Join over 10,000 people calling on the Arts Council to keep Northern Ballet music live.

Backed by the whole trade union movement

Northern Ballet Sinfonia’s campaign has the backing of the whole trade union movement. Earlier this month, TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak joined musicians from the Sinfonia and supporters from across the union movement in Newcastle for a demo.

Musicians across the UK and worldwide have also been sharing photos and wearing ‘Keep Northern Ballet Live’ t-shirts instead of their usual concert dress. Take a look at some of the highlights on the Union’s InstagramFacebook and Twitter/X feeds, or search for the hashtag #KeepNorthernBalletLive.

International support to keep Northern Ballet music live

Legendary composer Claude-Michel Schönberg has written a letter in support of Northern Ballet Sinfonia. In the letter, published by the MU with permission, Schönberg called for an Arts Council England solution to protect Northern Ballet musicians.

The International Federation of Musicians (FIM) has also written to Arts Council England CEO Darren Henley in support of the Keep Northern Ballet Live campaign.

FIM is the international organisation for musicians’ unions and equivalent representative organisations with 70 members in 60 countries. Their letter reflects the global significance of UK music and appreciation of Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

What’s happening at Northern Ballet?

Musicians in the Northern Ballet Sinfonia are campaigning to protect their touring work.

It comes after Northern Ballet announced that they were being forced to consider getting rid of their live orchestra for some touring productions and replacing the musicians with recorded music due to a real terms funding cut.

Unlike other Northern Ballet workers, the musicians are on freelance contracts and only get paid for the work they do. Some are already relying on foodbanks to survive.

It is essential that Arts Council England and Northern Ballet agree a realistic funding solution that protects union jobs and enables everyone to have access to live ballet that is genuinely live.

Take action now to keep Northern Ballet music live

Add your voice to the call:

You can also email your MP directly using our template letter copy.

Thank you to everyone who has taken action so far. Your support is instrumental in protecting musicians’ jobs and live ballet that is genuinely live for everyone.

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