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Recorded Background Music Now Permitted in Scottish Hospitality Venues

The Scottish Government have changed their Coronavirus restriction rules to allow recorded background music to be played at hospitality venues throughout out the five tiers.

Published: 16 December 2020 | 12:44 PM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:32 PM
A photograph of a retro looking radio against a grey background.
“The current restrictions assume that all live music occurs as a ‘main event’ in front of significant audience, but this just isn’t the case.”

Whilst this move is good news for some members who receive an income scheme through PRS and PPL royalties, the performance of live incidental music is still not allowed in Tiers 2 to 4.

The MU has been, and will continue to, lobby for a more nuanced approach to live music which will allow more musicians to return to the workplace.

It’s flawed to consider a solo guitarist as a significant and unique risk

Barry Dallman, Acting Regional Organiser for Scotland & Northern Ireland Region commented on the change:

“We welcome the return of background music in hospitality venues, but it’s disappointing to note that live incidental music remains prohibited in Tier 2 and above. The current restrictions assume that all live music occurs as a ‘main event’ in front of significant audience, but this just isn’t the case.

“The idea that a cocktail pianist or a solo guitarist providing background music in a hospitality venue poses a significant and unique risk is clearly flawed and it’s essential that the guidance evolves to reflect the wide-range of activities undertaken by working musicians.

“We will continue to lobby for a more considered and nuanced approach to live music which doesn’t prevent our members from working unnecessarily.”

Take action now

Whilst so many musicians remain unable to return their workplaces, it’s more vital than ever that the Government invests in musicians.

Take action now by writing to your MP – it’s one of the best ways of making sure your voice is heard in the decision-making process. We’ve got detailed guidance for writing to your MP (or MLA in Northern Ireland) on our campaign page.

Take action now

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