My main job is running Mill Hill Music Complex, a music services and support company. Our main business is running rehearsal and recording studios and hiring musical equipment for events. We employ 13 people. I believe we are a socially responsible company.
UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for venues, concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.
I am writing to you on behalf of the #SaveLondonMusic campaign regarding enhanced support for the arts, music and creative sector. Our campaign was started in 2015, with the aim of protecting, preserving and enhancing the live music scene in London. Until the lockdown, we have been seeing a real resurgence of live music in London. London is the heart of the UK creative sector. The UK music sector contributes £5 billion to the economy, but the true contribution is far higher, extending the soft influence of the UK globally.
In times like this, London needs music and it is one thing we can safely enjoy. Our campaign has historically been about preserving venues, but at present, our focus shifts to the people who really matter, musicians. There is no live music in London. Musicians who rely on gigs to pay the bills are not earning a bean. Few musicians are flush with cash at the best of times. Can we ask the listeners to do three things to support our musicians. It won’t cost much, and it will make your life better. Please can the listeners do the following
1. Download a song/album a day from your favourite musician on a paying platform. Now is a time find great new musicians. Support them by buying their music.
2. Check out their website and buy some merchandise. A tee-shirt, poster or coaster will help them pay the bills
3. If any are having a crowd funding appeal to help them through these hard times, please make a donation, however small. Please check our website for regular updatesNews – #SAVE LONDON MUSIC
News – #SAVE LONDON MUSICNews – #Save London Music
Everyone is having a difficult time, however we can get through this if we come together.
We are considering the logistics of putting together a daily playlist on our website, with a request to download the tracks. IF anyone out there is interested in helping, please use the contact form on the website to get in touch.
London has seen an amazing renaissance of live music in the last couple of years and the Govt & Mayor have taken many of our suggestions on board. However, Corona virus is a very clear and present danger and threatens to stop this in its tracks. There are three main areas that are being hit
1. Venues and promoters. People are not going out, so money is not being spent. Rent and staff costs still have to be met. Unexpected expenses are being incurred and whilst some of these will be met by insurance payments, these often take a considerable amount of time to resolve
2. Artists and bands are seeing a huge interruption to income streams. Most have little contingency for this. Costs have been incurred and not all of these are recoverable.
3. Freelance support staff, casual workers and zero hours bar staff etc are not getting paid. Many will be hit by huge tax payments due in June for self assessment payments.
Whilst the virus will pass, the dent in the income may completely derail the fragile recovery we’ve seen. The campaign will be calling for serious action to address this from the local and national government. Music is a huge part of the UK economy generating £5.2 million last year. The government needs to urgently allocate funds to support all of these sectors, to ensure that when the epidemic passes, we still have a viable live music scene in London.
We are calling for the following measures to be available.
The Government and London Mayor to establish a hardship fund to assist artists, staff and freelancers who have seen income disappear due to cancellation of events.
Deferral of the second payment of Self Assessment of income tax, due in June for all workers affected by the Corona virus. We would like to see the 2020 payment spread over the next five years
Grants available to venues and promoters to tide them through the worst period of the crisis. We would suggest that this is set at a level to cover any shortfall in paying staff, rent and utility bills.
As many venues may be closed during the worst of the epidemic to the general public, grants to be made available to assist with any urgent safety or infrastructure works. This will mean that the venues will be improved for the period when the epidemic passes. This will also provide work opportunities.
Funds for mental health charities, to support artists affected by stress related to worries arising from the Corona virus.
A hardship fund with emergency funds and loans to assist musicians, artists and promoters, hit by large, unexpected costs as a result of the virus. Whilst many organisations will be insured, there are often delays in receiving these payments, which cause terminal damage to the organisations finances.
The music industry contribute a significant amount to the UK economy, providing a serious amount of money for the UK treasury. It is time for the treasury to invest some of that money back into the sector, so that UK music industry is well placed to continue to thrive when the situation recovers.
What industries does the UK lead the world in? There is only one I can think of only one (but then I work in it). That is the music industry. Have you ever wondered why this is? There are several major reasons for this.
A great victory for our campaign for Live music. We have campaigned long for help for grassroots venues with business rates. In 2018 we spent three months preparing a submission for the DCLG Parliamentary enquiry into live music. We are pleased to announce a major success for the campaign
By Roger Tichborne – Founder of the Save London Music Campaign
There is a General Election in less than a month. I am disturbed by the complete lack of discussion about how either the Tories or the Labour party are going to make our economy fit for purpose for the 21st century, specifically in regard to music and creative industries. None of the party leaders have any experience of running a business or generating wealth. My expertise is in the music industry. I have first hand experience of how the music industry can generate prosperity.