LIVE Lobbies Local Politicians Ahead Of Election

Jon Collins
LIVE CEO Jon Collins

Ahead of the UK’s May 5 elections, UK trade body LIVE calls on local election candidates to support live music into 2023 and beyond.

LIVE has released manifesto (in full below) to all upcoming local election candidates asking them to pledge their support to the live music sector,
asking for support in keys areas such as funding, planning, regeneration, and skills investment.

See: UK LIVE Partners With YouTube Music, Prepares For Climate Action

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The LIVE manifesto

The May 5 elections will elect local councillors and leaders, who have the power to fund and control licensing and planning processes, and thus help the live music industry to thrive.

Live music in the UK is a £4.5 billion ($5.3 billion) industry which employs over 200,000 people across the country, from large arenas to small high street venues, according to LIVE data.

“Unlike other industries, the impact of live music’s contribution is not confined to a square mile in the capital city, but instead permeates the very fabric of every town and village across the country, meaning that local councillors have a critical role to play in its protection and growth,” a statement from the trade body reads.

The LIVE manifesto pledges that political leaders have been asked to commit to are as follows:

“I am proud to support the UK’s live music sector and pledge if elected I will:

“1. Recognise the positive impact live music, our artists venues and festivals have on both the local economy and quality of life.

“2. Commit to maintaining and strengthening local funding for live music venues and festivals in real terms.

“3. Provide support to those individuals and businesses struggling as they seek to recover post pandemic: be that discretionary business rates relief, removing festivals on agricultural land from the business rates system or funds for those artists, freelancers and small businesses in the supply chain, who make our live music venues, festivals and events such a success.

“4. Commit to support local music venues and festivals through local licensing and planning policies including active adoption of the Agent of Change principle.

“5. Support the live music industry as it invests in creative skills and recruitment to offer high quality, stimulating and rewarding careers.

“6. Create and implement a comprehensive, long-term strategy for my local area that values live music and its role as a driver of culture-led regeneration including use of Community Asset Transfer powers.”

Candidates are being asked to sign up to these pledges publicly by sharing the manifesto on social media. Artists, venues, and supply chain businesses are also encouraged to raise this directly with their local candidates.

LIVE CEO Jon Collins said, “Communities up and down the country are brought alive by live music, whether that be a local music hall, pop-up gig or arena concert.

“However, the very fabric of that eco-system is being threatened due to the unique post-pandemic and post-Brexit challenges we are facing, including a 7.5% increase in VAT on tickets and wholesale cost increases whilst many artists and crew struggle having never received any government financial support. I am today calling for the full support of all local leaders to help us protect and grow the UK’s truly world class live music scene, ensuring their constituents continue to enjoy its benefits.”

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