Music stars call for British scene to be saved

From Rolling Stones to Ed Sheeran via Paul McCartney or Depeche Mode, the biggest names in British music launched on Thursday a call to save the concert industry, whose survival is threatened by the crisis of the new coronavirus.

In an open letter to British Culture Minister Oliver Dowden, 1,500 artists and music figures urge the government to act urgently.

Among the signatories are Dua Lipa, Skepta, Rita Ora, Coldplay, Eric Clapton, Annie Lennox, Sam Smith, Rod Stewart, Liam Gallagher, Florence + The Machine, George Ezra, Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden, Lewis Capaldi, Little Mix.

Many of them were scheduled to perform on stage during the festival season, which was canceled due to the pandemic that claimed nearly 44,000 lives in the United Kingdom, the heaviest death toll in Europe.

“The British scene has been one of the country’s greatest social, cultural and economic successes over the past decade,” said the signatories.

But without the end of physical distance measures on the horizon and without financial support, “the future of concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who live on them looks bleak.”

“Until these companies can work again, which will likely happen in 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass bankruptcies and the end of this world leading industry,” say -they.

The signatories request a timetable for the reopening of concert halls, a support plan and access to a credit facility as well as a total exemption from VAT on the sale of concert tickets.

In a tweet, the Minister of Culture said “understand the deep anxiety” of the world of music, ensuring to press to be able to give calendar and “road map”.

“All of this implies very difficult decisions about the future of physical distancing, which as we know has saved lives,” added Oliver Dowden.

According to a study backed by the open letter, the sector represents 210,000 jobs and its companies represented 4.5 billion pounds sterling in 2019 (5 billion euros).

“Proud” to have been able to perform at all levels, from small clubs to large speakers, including festivals, the singer Dua Lipa stressed in a press release that the possibility for other British artists “to follow the same path is in danger “without public assistance.

“Impatient” to play again in front of his fans, Liam Gallagher stresses for his part that we must take care of the concert industry and the “great” people who make it live “until we can again replay on stage “.

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