LIVE unveils manifesto of priorities as it warns of risk to 'future generations of UK superstars'

LIVE unveils manifesto of priorities as it warns of risk to 'future generations of UK superstars'

LIVE, the voice of the UK’s live music industry, is urging the Chancellor to provide vital financial support to the grassroots music sector in the upcoming Autumn Statement. 

The trade body has unveiled a manifesto with five crucial priorities, aimed at safeguarding grassroots music venues and unlocking the economic potential of the wider live music sector: 

Provide urgent financial support, including an extension to grassroots music venues business rates relief and wider hospitality and leisure relief. 

Rethink the current Bill on safety at venues, known as Martyn’s Law, to ensure any new measures are practical and protect lives. 

Remove the barriers for UK artists to tour internationally, including by introducing a cultural visa waiver for creative workers touring in the EU. 

Protect fans by bringing UK ticketing regulations into line with other progressive music markets.  

Accelerate the sector’s transition to net zero through funding and information provision to fill any current shortfall. 

The UK’s live music sector generated £5.2 billion in 2022. This summer showcased the post-pandemic resurgence with a range of festivals, stadium and arena shows selling out around the country. Live music employed over 228,000 people last year.

LIVE worked closely with the government during the pandemic to ensure the right support was provided in the form of a cut to VAT on tickets and the Cultural Recovery Fund. However, the organisation said that this support has not been sustained despite the effects of the pandemic being compounded by Brexit, the cost-of-living crisis and increased costs across the supply chain.  

The government’s Creative Industries Sector Vision identified that grassroots music venues have an essential research and development (R&D) role in the sector.

Steve Lamacq, chair, LIVE, said: “You cannot underestimate the importance and value of live music to the UK, both culturally and economically. It is part of the fabric of who we are, producing world class artists and providing enjoyment for millions of people. But this is still a very challenging time for promoters, especially at the grassroots level where venues are increasingly struggling to cope with massive rises in running costs. 

“We need to act now and recognise just how important these venues are, not just as the breeding ground for the next generation of young musicians, but also as proud, creative, hubs for the communities they serve across the country. Without targeted financial support and understanding, we run the immediate risk of seeing hundreds of these venues shutting for good, which would be devastating for fans, artists and local economies.”  

Jon Collins, CEO, LIVE, said: “The LIVE Music Manifesto launched today presents a huge opportunity for our political leaders to supercharge a cultural and economic powerhouse. It is estimated that for every 10,000 people at a gig in the UK, there is an additional £1 million spent in other local businesses including restaurants and bars, transport networks, shops, and hotels. It’s crucial that the voice of the live music sector is heard at the next general election. 

“Simple interventions, like the extension of the business rates relief and a return to lower VAT to bring the UK into line with international competitors would transform the sector. There are also grave risks to inaction. We need to wake up to the reality that the grassroots venues where artists like Ed Sheeran and Adele honed their craft are closing at an alarming rate. We need urgent action from government now, or we risk losing out on future generations of British superstars.” 


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