Let the music play! Venues need your help to save gig scene from COVID collapse

Ever since Boris Johnson confirmed pubs would reopen on Saturday, there has been a buzz about what this means for our social lives blooming into their pre-coronavirus best.

However, while we’ll be able to grab a cold bevvy from the keg, we won’t be able to swig it while watching any live music.

Despite venues falling under the hospitality sector umbrella, they are not allowed to resume business like boozers and restaurants from July 4.

On a mission to change this, a new campaign called Let The Music Play is launching today and calling on music lovers to unite and save the gig scene from collapse.

[Credit: Krists Luhaers]

Artists from across the globe are being asked to share videos and images of their last live gig, while fans are similarly being encouraging to upload any photos or footage of the last live show they attended – all while using the hashtag #LetTheMusicPlay.

Without this intervention, up to 50% of the entire music industry is facing redundancy and 90% of grassroots venues could close permanently.

The organisations behind the campaign – including the National Arenas Association and British Association of Concert Halls – are also hoping for strength in numbers having invited people to add their name to a letter sent to the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden.

Global names including Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi, Eric Clapton, and Muse all got in on the action and signed too, throwing their support behind the cause.

[Credit: Anthony Delanoix]

The letter states: “UK live music has been one of the biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade.

“From world-famous festivals to ground-breaking concerts, the live music scene showcases, supports and develops some of the best talent in the world.

“The sector doesn’t want to ask for government help. The promoters, festival organisers, and other employees want to be self-sufficient, as they were before lockdown.

“But, until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies.”

[Credit: Eric Ward]

It continued: “Government has addressed two important British pastimes – football and pubs – and it’s now crucial that it focuses on a third, live music.

“For the good of the economy, the careers of emerging British artists, and the UK’s global music standing, we must ensure that a live music industry remains when the pandemic has finally passed.”

The #LetTheMusicPlay campaign are not only searching for answers on financial aid but are desperately hoping for a defined timeline as to when they can reopen.

As they say, ‘the show must go on’ so be sure to join in on social media and not let COVID-19 pull the final curtain on your favourite acts.