The music industry – spanning all sectors – is set to take part in Black Out Tuesday (June 2).
The initiative – which asks people not to conduct in any business and instead observe a day of reflection and community engagement – follows the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Riot police have clashed with protesters in the US, following widespread anger about this case and police killings of black Americans.
Music Week fully supports this industry-wide act of solidarity with the black community and will not be reporting on the business during Tuesday (June 2).
Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music labels are among those pledging to support the Black Out with the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused, alongside live companies such as Live Nation, AEG Presents, UTA, CAA, Paradigm and DHP Family. Independents including Kobalt and Dirty Hit have also backed the Black Out campaign.
The initiative spread on social media within the industry, with a call to “disconnect from work and reconnect with our community”.
An official website – theshowmustbepaused.com –and social media accounts have been set up by Atlantic senior director of marketing Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, former Atlantic exec and now senior artist campaign manager at Platoon.
“As gatekeepers of the culture, it’s our responsibility to not only come together to celebrate the wins, but also hold each other up during a loss,” said the statement from The Show Must Be Paused.
Columbia chairman Ron Perry said: “We stand together with the Black community against all forms of racism, bigotry, and violence. Now, more than ever we must use our voices to speak up and challenge the injustices all around us.”
Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer sent a memo to staff outlining the major's commitment to the initiative.
"Of course, Tuesday is just one day," he wrote. "As a company with a long legacy of shaping culture and uplifting communities, we are committed to be a part of long-term change, and our efforts—both internally and externally—remain ongoing. I am grateful to everyone who has sent thoughtful suggestions for ways Sony Music can continue to positively affect these issues and will share more updates as I have them."
Interscope vowed not to release new music this week. Atlantic also supported the initiative.
"The music business at WMG will not go on as usual," a statement said. "While this is only one day, we are committed to continuing this fight for real change. We will be using this day to collectively reflect on what we as a company can do to put action towards change and we will be taking steps in the coming weeks and months."
The label added that it will be donating to Black Lives Matter and other organisations.
Video footage of the arrest has gone viral, while a preliminary autopsy found that the police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.
A former police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder.
A statement from Kobalt said: “Kobalt Music Group vehemently rejects racism, bigotry and violence. We stand with the black community, and this week’s egregious events affect us all.”
Spotify said in a statement: “On Black Out Tuesday, Spotify will stand with our friends, partners, artists and creators in the fight against racism, injustice and inequity through a variety of activities, both on platform and off. Our employees are being encouraged to disconnect to show solidarity with and learn from the experiences of the Black community. We’re also using our platform to amplify Black voices and demonstrate our commitment to racial equity. Spotify stands with the Black community and we hope that these and other actions will help usher in positive change.”
The BPI is also backing the industry-wide show of support for Black Out Tuesday.
"The BPI and BRIT Awards stand in solidarity with our label members, their creative talents, and our partners across the wider music community in support of #BlackOutTuesday for #BlackLivesMatter," said a statement. "Music has the power to unite communities and give people a voice as they work together to bring about positive social change.
"Like many of our members, we will suspend normal business tomorrow (June 2) and our staff will share in this moment to reflect on the recent tragic events, stand in solidarity with all those who suffer discrimination and encourage our leaders across the world to act."
Music Week will resume coverage on Wednesday.
The official #TheShowMustBePaused website recommends a number of actions/resources to consider on June 2. You can read them below:
If you have been impacted by the recent events, take a break - there is a lot going on and sometimes we all just need a minute. Take that minute.
Help the family of George Floyd HERE.
Fight for Breonna Taylor HERE.
Help the family of Ahmaud Arbery HERE.
Want to help protesters? Donate to one or more community bail funds HERE.
Visit Movement For Black Lives for additional ways you can help the cause.
Want to connect with leaders building grass roots campaigns? Click HERE.
Are you an ally and want to learn more? Here are some anti-racism resources.
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