WHEN ARE MUSICIANS GOING TO MATTER?


The music industry adds approximately £5.8bn to the UK economy, 20% is from live music in 2019, and at what point does that £5.8bn to the UK economy begin to matter?


Many musicians have suffered immeasurably during the COVID restrictions with venues closed and live music pretty much dead. Personally, I know of musicians who are young and relatively new to the professional live music arena, and do not have the required tax history to get any financial help. They have just been left to work out how on earth they will survive the next month let alone the next few months. In some cases their mental health has really suffered, from not only being unable to work and earn a living themselves, but also from seeing their friends and colleagues suffering , facing homelessness and feeling powerless to offer their friends any assistance.


Whilst the government have shown a lack of understanding in terms of the value of music and musicians, given their ridiculous advertising campaign suggesting those in the arts should retrain in inappropriate industries.

Apparently the government has tried to get better conditions for UK touring musicians during their Brexit negotiations, and they claim that their proposals were rejected by the EU. I am not saying it is not true, but, I am concerned that their efforts were not as prominent in the press as possible in order that musicians felt supported. Moreover, given that they have left the EU, what are their plans to help musicians who are British citizens?


Many musicians cannot now consider touring Europe as an option as they (or their agent) will need to provide a Carnet for each piece of equipment at a cost that makes them performing prohibitive. What would you do? You need to hire musicians for a concert/performance, would you hire UK based musicians over EU ones?



COULD THE MUSICIANS UNION DO MORE?


The BBPA said in an article in the Daily Mail - The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, said the Government's new tier restrictions was yet 'another blow' to the industry.

The body warned that fall in pub sales could cost the industry £650million unless the Government provided a greater package of financial support.



Whilst it would not be fair to say the Musicians Union have done nothing, but the BBPA (see above) seem to appear on so many radio and TV stations, and are very active in their push to support their members, and given the suffering within the music industry I feel the Musicians Union has room to do a lot more in terms of getting more support from these radio stations/presenters/DJs who actually make a living from the work of musicians. Think about all your favourite music radio stations, without musicians, would they have a job?


DON’T FORGET THE CHILDREN




Please, let’s not forget children all over the country who are striving and pushing hard to perfect playing an instrument or learning to sing a specific style of singing that requires a higher level of skill i.e. jazz or opera.

What are we saying to our children about being a professional musician? Are we discouraging them from joining the profession?


If we carry on this way, we need to be sure we can live without music.






CAN WE LIVE WITHOUT MUSIC? NO!, OF COURSE NOT!


If we carry on this way, we need to be sure we can live without music, if we do not protect it and protect/support those that have the passion and skill to provide the world with a soundtrack to life itself.


Think about it every TV advert, radio advert, TV show, film, shopping experience, a ride in the car, or even the radio on in the background at home or at work etc. The list of how music impacts our lives in endless, maybe musicians need to bring some silence, so our importance begins to sink in.


At what point do musicians begin to matter?

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