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Lobbying Update – MPs Support MU’s Calls For The Government to Allow Music Events

An update on the MU’s lobbying activities following last week’s announcement of the Government’s delay to the Covid-19 roadmap in England.

Photo ofIsabelle Gutierrez
By Isabelle Gutierrez Published: 24 June 2021 | 2:14 PM Updated: 24 June 2021 | 3:13 PM
Blurred photograph of a crowd outdoors, sitting and facing an outdoor stage.
If reports are to be believed, apparently just 15 out of 58,000 people tested positive for Covid-19 following government-run trial events. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Since last week’s announcement setting out the latest delay to the Government’s Covid-19 roadmap, the MU has been pressing the Government to urgently bring in events insurance and to open up the third round of Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) money to freelancers, since many musicians can still not get back to work.

Although civil servants from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have been sympathetic, we have been told that Treasury officials do not support the use of CRF money for grants for individuals. We will not stop telling them how unfair this position is – particularly given that many freelancers have not had any other form of financial support.

We are very grateful to MPs such as Jo Stevens, Julian Knight and Alison McGovern who spoke in support of the MU and of musicians in parliament on Tuesday, during an Urgent Question asking the Government to explain why they have not yet shared findings from the Events Research Programme.

If reports are to be believed, apparently just 15 out of 58,000 people tested positive for Covid-19 following government-run trial events such as May’s Blossoms show at Sefton Park, the clubbing test nights in Liverpool and the BRIT Awards.

If this is true there is no reason why festivals and other live events cannot go ahead this summer – but the industry desperately needs to see this data. This week saw Kendal Calling become the latest UK festival to cancel, despite being due to take place after 19 July. The festival said that they were unable to go ahead without the guidance from the pilot events and without festival insurance.

This morning LIVE, and a number of theatre organisations including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, Cameron Mackintosh, Michael Harrison and Sonia Friedman, commenced legal proceedings to force the publication of the Events Research Programme.

MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge says:

“It is widely believed that the results of the pilot events so far have yielded positive results and it feels as if musicians, crew, promoters and producers are being treated unfairly. We support the action being taken by LIVE and the Theatre sector as the industry invested in the Events Research programme and it is only right that the Government now publishes the results so that we can work towards full reopening.”

We are still speaking to the Government on an almost daily basis about Brexit issues – more to come on this next week

Take action now

The MU is speaking to MPs, Ministers and civil servants every week – but evidence showing how much work members are losing is key to convincing them to offer further support. If you have lost work as a result of the delayed lifting of restrictions please fill in this simple form. Thank you.

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