UK musicians seek government help to tide over coronavirus crisis
LONDON (UK) – As many as 1,500 musicians, including the likes of Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran and The Rolling Stones, on Thursday urged the British government to help the live music industry tide over the coronavirus outbreak.
In an open letter to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, they wrote: “The future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.”
“Until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and the end of this world-leading industry.”
In the letter, they demanded a timeline on when venues for concerts and live shows could reopen. They also sought help for businesses and employment opportunities.
In a tweet on Thursday, Dowden said he is “pushing hard for these dates & to give you a clear roadmap back”, adding it would be difficult to decide on the dates to reopen musical venues as it is relates to the future of social distancing.
When the pandemic spread in the country in March all concerts, musical events and festivals, including the Glastonbury festival, were cancelled.
In their letter, the musicians said live music brought in 4.5 billion pounds ($5.6 billion) to the country’s economy and patronised 210,000 jobs in 2019.
The open letter was signed by musicians of all genres and they include Eric Clapton, Bob Geldof, Coldplay, Sting and Dua Lipa. Concert hall operators and producers were also signatories.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field