1,500 acts call on UK government to save live music in #LetTheMusicPlay campaign

2 July 2020, 11:29 | Updated: 2 July 2020, 11:36

Liam Gallagher, Florence Welch, Sir Paul McCartney, PJ Harvey and Dizzee Rascal
Liam Gallagher, Florence Welch, Sir Paul McCartney, PJ Harvey and Dizzee Rascal. Picture: 1. Press 2. Press 3. Press 4.Barry Brecheisen/WireImage/ Getty 5. Joseph Okpako/WireImage/Getty

The likes of Liam Gallagher, Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Florence + The Machine, Dizzee Rascal and Coldplay have urged the UK government to stop the damage being caused to live music.

Liam Gallagher, The Rolling Stones and Sir Paul McCartney are among the 1,500 artists who have signed an open letter calling for the British government to help save the live music industry.

The stars - who also include Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine, Coldplay, Annie Lennox, The Cure and Sir Rod Stewart - have appealed to Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to support the industry after 2020 festivals were axed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter reads: "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 concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.

"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 world-leading industry."

Read the full joint letter here

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The stars have also called for a clear timeline for when venues can reopen without social distancing, a comprehensive business and employment support package and access to finance, and full VAT exemption on ticket sales.

Liam Gallagher said: "Amazing gigs don't happen without an amazing team behind the stage, but they'll all be out of jobs unless we can get back out there doing what we love.

"I can't wait to get back to playing for the fans.

"But in the meantime we need to look after the live industry. There are so many great people in it and we all need to support them until we can get back to playing live."

Several of the stars were due to play at Glastonbury this summer, but the festival was cancelled as a result of the pandemic.

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis said: "The UK's venues, festivals, performers and crew bring so much to this country's culture and economy, but they are now facing desperate financial challenges.

"If the government doesn't step up and support the British arts, we really could lose vital aspects of our culture forever."

Following the letter's publication, fans, artists, and venues, as well as others, have posted pictures and videos of the last shows they attended using the hashtag #LetTheMusicPlay.

The Rolling Stones shared a setlist from their gig in Miami last year and encouraged others to do the same, writing: "Show your support for live music and share a photo from the last gig you went to with #LetTheMusicPlay".

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