UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has welcomed the government’s confirmation that professional recording studios and music video productions can continue under new national Covid-19 restrictions for England.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined details to MPs earlier this week about his plan for four weeks of tougher national restrictions across England that will begin on Thursday (November 5).
Following ongoing engagement between UK Music, its members and government, ministers have reassured the sector that professional recording studios, including residential studios, can continue to operate under the latest regulations and guidance. Music video production can also continue.
The latest regulations are in line with the detailed guidance the sector developed earlier this year.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “This is extremely welcome news and an important vote of confidence by the government in the UK music industry and our world-leading recording studios. I am delighted that ministers have recognised the huge amount of work that has gone into stringent measures to ensure that our studios are Covid-safe environments where work can and should continue.
“Studios are a key part of the ecosystem of the UK music industry that contributes £5.2 billion a year to the economy and employs 190,000 people. We are determined to continue to work with the government to keep as much of the music industry open as possible as we strive to get the whole industry back on its feet.”
Minister of State for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage said: “Our world renowned recording studios form the backbone of the recorded music sector, provide vital employment for musicians, engineers and producers, and make important contributions to our economy. As well as allowing artists to continue making albums, studios such as AIR Studios and Abbey Road produce soundtracks for blockbuster movies and our favourite TV series that have kept us entertained throughout the challenges of the pandemic.
"The Prime Minister has been clear that workplaces should stay open where people cannot work from home. This includes professional music recording studios, where work activity can continue in line with Covid-secure guidance.”
We are determined to continue to work with the government to keep as much of the music industry open as possible as we strive to get the whole industry back on its feet
AIM CEO Paul Pacifico said: “Even though the live music side of our industry remains shuttered, recording studios, rehearsal facilities and music video shoots continue to be able to operate safely under the guidance developed in consultation between key industry bodies, government and public health officials.
“The fact that recording can carry on, reinforces the continued vibrance and viability of the British music industry, and demonstrates how it will be an essential driver for recovery of the economy, and our national sense of wellbeing.”
Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, said: “Artists and labels will applaud this decision to keep music production open, which shows faith in the robustness of the production guidelines painstakingly developed to create a safe recording environment. This will allow for continued investment into new music, providing work for musicians and new releases for fans to enjoy.”
Olga Fitzroy, executive director of the Music Producers Guild, said: “Many of our members are right in the middle of big productions, including one studio which is recording music for a weekly topical TV show throughout November and December. They were understandably concerned about the potential impact of this new lockdown. There was also the real risk that much of the brilliant work done in studios here would disappear abroad.
“Members will be reassured that they can stay open for business and help play their part in working towards getting the whole industry reopened.”
Phil Kear, Musicians’ Union assistant general secretary, said: “It's great news for the recording sector that studios will remain open during the coming lockdown. It's testament to the excellent health and safety work undertaken by the studios, producers and our members that this is seen as a safe option.
“Producers will be able to continue making superb recordings with highly-talented UK musicians and we are delighted that our members who work in this area will be able to continue to make a living. The overwhelming majority of musicians have been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic, with minimal work and often little financial support, so this will be a great relief for those involved.”
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