COVID-19: Summer festival season could continue with government support | Ents & Arts News

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Live music events such as concerts and festivals will be able to take place safely this summer with government help, an industry lobby group has said.

A UK Music report said it was convinced it could manage health risks if the government set a start date for the industry and introduced COVID-19[feminine[feminine cancellation insurance.

Its chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin acknowledged that the pandemic was still raging, but insisted that there was “an end point in sight”.

“The government is rolling out the vaccine and openly speculating that it will get back to normal by spring – but there is a serious risk that even if this turns out to be a reality, the lack of advance notice and available insurance options will mean much of the music from summer 2021. the season cannot go on. ”

Nick Reed, general manager of Town Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham, said: “#The promotion industry needs to be confident that it can make the transition from closed to open.

“#This has to be subscribed one way or another. The government should consider insurance – an insurance policy backed by the government to make it happen.

“We are not a fish and chips. We can’t just order the fish on Sunday and reopen our doors on Monday. There is a lag in the way our business operates. ”

The report, Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer, also called for targeted financial support, an extension of the reduction in the VAT rate on tickets, a deferral of local authority licensing fees from 2020 to 2021 and an extension of the reduction in professional tariffs.

It is published ahead of a hearing during which music festivals will testify about their future to a group of deputies from the digital, culture, media and sport select committee.

The live music industry is a big business, generating £ 4.7bn for the UK economy in 2019 (UK Music).

But it has been almost completely closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing regulations.

Up to 170,000 jobs in the music industry as a whole are expected to be lost by Christmas, according to Live Music Industry Venues & Entertainment (LIVE).

Before the pandemic, Symphony Hall hosted 2,200 spectators and employed 65 people.

Since March 2020, it has laid off nearly a third of its staff, sacked most of the others and hosted just two socially distanced performances.

But the reduced capacity made those gigs unsustainable, Mr Reed said.

The sector is likely to be one of the last to reopen after the pandemic and there are fears that many sites have closed for good and that there is a shortage of qualified staff available when the public is finally ready to return.

Mr. Reed added, “We will be measuring our future in a few months. We have reservations. But it is an expensive organization, even to keep closed. So the future remains really dangerous for us.«

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Jess Murphy is a violinist and organized Let Music Live, a musicians’ event in Parliament Square in October.

She said the coronavirus pandemic, along with the touring complications caused by Brexit, was “absolutely” the perfect storm for the industry.

“#As the Brexit deal stands, we don’t know how we can work in the European Union.

“#We desperately want the government to take this seriously and try to help us, perhaps in the form of some kind of cultural and creative passport that allows you to work, say, one year at a time, rather than a situation that would be terribly difficult to negotiate, where each person would have to negotiate with each country if they wanted to tour.

“It would become impossible because on a tour you have to be in maybe four different countries at the same time just in one week for example. ”

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