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New Government Measures Deliver Blow for Live Music in England

The Government’s re-worked three tier system has given us reason for concern, in particular the new cap on capacities for indoor live events under Tiers 1 and 2.

Published: 26 November 2020 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:31 PM
Black and white photograph of an orchestra pit during a theatre performance, we are looking from behind the conductor who is gesturing largely.
Such limitations have made the return of economic performances, and a recovery for working musicians, non-existent over the winter period. Photo credit: Shutterstock

We’ve greeted with dismay the Government’s new guidance for the live music and events sectors in England, with particular concern at the new cap on capacities for indoor live events under Tiers 1 and 2.

Such limitations have made the return of economic performances, and a recovery for working musicians, non-existent over the winter period.

The Union continues to lobby the Government to ensure a safe return to work for its members as soon as possible and will once again be raising the issues facing the live sector with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The restrictions place a specifically heavy burden on grassroots venues, with the ban on the sale of alcohol within Tier 2 limiting the opportunities for this key sector to promote and present even break-even gigs.

A radical rethink is needed

Horace Trubridge, MU General Secretary, said:

“Our members have had little or no work since March and many have failed to qualify for the government’s support schemes. Having endured months of financial misery, musicians are desperate to get back to work.

“The announcements around live events and the new tier system make that prospect even more distant, and the lack of consistency and common sense is glaring. These new tier system restrictions need a radical rethink if the live sector is going to see any recovery in the short to medium term.”

Take action now

It’s vital that the UK Government takes steps to protect the musicians who fall through the gaps in their support schemes.

Take action now and join our urgent call to the Government to do more – ask your MP to make your voice heard in Parliament.

You can use our template letter if you’re not sure what to say. Remember to include how you are affected too – personal stories make all the difference.

Write to your MP now.

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