Leeds School of Arts supports the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign
The UK’s music sector contributes an enormous amount to our society, it supports 600,000 jobs, contributes £5.2 billion GVA to the UK economy and is a source of enjoyment and pleasure for just about everyone in the country. It’s currently under an enormous strain, due to the Coronavirus outbreak and the restriction placed on our daily lives due to social distancing and the gradual reopening of the country’s economy.
While the public looks forward to the reopening of pubs and bars this weekend, live music venues are still prohibited from hosting gigs and concerts. With most feeling that while music rehearsals for professional are currently permitted, and further guidance being published this week, problems remain with day to day music activity such as singing, woodwind and brass performance, due to the extended distribution of air particles involved in it.
Much of the UK’s music sector is self-employed, and many local venues perform a social and community function, and it is vital that there is sector specific support for live music to ensure it is still able to thrive when it is safe to do so. Today, the UK’s music sector has united in a campaign to #LetTheMusicPlay – asking the government to provide a clear timeline for reopening without social distancing; a phased programme of financial aid across the sector, including access to finance; and a VAT exemption on ticket sales.
Music is such an important part of everyone’s lives at Leeds Beckett University, our students and graduates perform in venues across the city and tour the world, our staff sit on the boards of key organisations, run record labels and promote live music events, and there are musicians across the entire staff team and student community who come together to perform music - from our University choir, to electronic act break_fold , to indie-pop band The Vat Egg Imposition. There is a danger that our ability to enjoy music will diminish as the rest of our lives get back to a normality, and anything we can do to protect is incredibly important!