It's an open letter to culture secretary Oliver Dowden...

Thousands of musicians have united behind the new #LetMusicPlay campaign.

The campaign hinges on an open letter to Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, urging him to take immediate action to support the live music sector.

The Music Venue Trust previously circulated a document indicating that around 560 venues could close unless an immediate £50 million cash injection is made.

In addition to this, 92% of festival businesses are deemed to be at the risk of collapse, and urgently require government support simply to see out the year.

Now over 1500 artists have signed an open letter to Oliver Dowden, urging him to “show the vital importance of the UK’s live music industry, ensure the Government cannot ignore live music and make noise to get the public and financial support the industry needs to survive”.

Artists who have signed the letter include Liam Gallagher and Sam Smith, Lewis Capaldi and Rita Ora, with festivals such as Glastonbury showing support.

Read the full letter below...

Dear Secretary of State,

UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. From world-famous festivals to ground-breaking concerts, the live music industry showcases, supports, and develops some of the best talent in the world – on and off-stage.

As important as it is, our national and regional contribution isn’t purely cultural. Our economic impact is also significant, with live music adding £4.5billion to the British economy and supporting 210,000 jobs across the country in 2019.

Like every part of the entertainment industry, live music has been proud to play our part in the national effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and keep people safe. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.

This sector doesn’t want to ask for government help. The promoters, festival organisers, and other employers 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, and the end of this great world-leading industry.

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. 

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