- Title: 'Help!' cry British musicians, warning of crisis in live music industry
- Date: 2nd July 2020
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - APRIL 4, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF THE ROLLING STONES POSING AT THE PREMIERE OF "EXHIBITIONISM" LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - SEPTEMBER 15, 2016) (REUTERS) FORMER BEATLE AND MUSICIAN, PAUL MCCARTNEY, ARRIVING AT PREMIERE MCCARTNEY WALKING PAST FANS WITH WIFE NANCY SHEVELL MCCARTNEY SPEAKING ON STAGE WITH FELLOW EX-BEATLE, RINGO STARR (R) AND DIRECTOR RON HOWARD BERLIN, GERMANY (FILE - FEBRUARY 23, 2018) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MUSICIAN ED SHEERAN ON RED CARPET POSING FOR SELFIES WITH FANS AT THE PREMIERE FOR HIS DOCUMENTARY, "SONGWRITER"
- Embargoed: 16th July 2020 12:44
- Keywords: Bob Geldof British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden British government Coldplay Dua Lipa Ed Sheeran Eric Clapton Glastonbury festival Paul McCartney Rod Stewart Sting The Rolling Stones live music business
- Location: VARIOUS
- City: VARIOUS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA002CL4ADSD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran and The Rolling Stones were among some 1,500 musicians who called on Thursday (July 2) for the British government to help the live music business survive the novel coronavirus outbreak.
"The future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak," the musicians wrote in an open letter to British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
"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."
The letter called for a clear timeline on when music venues could reopen, as well as support for businesses and jobs.
Dowden responded to the musicians in a tweet https://bit.ly/3dQmayJ.
on Thursday saying he is "pushing hard for these dates & to give you a clear roadmap back". He said decisions on reopening of live music venues would be difficult as it relates to the future of social distancing.
Music venues, concerts and festivals - including the annual summer Glastonbury festival - were shuttered or cancelled in March when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the country.
Britain, whose death toll from pandemic is approaching 55,000, showed a Reuters tally of official data sources, is in the process of gradually reopening retail stores, schools and pubs.
The musicians in the letter said live music added 4.5 billion pounds ($5.6 billion) to the British economy and supported 210,000 jobs across the country in 2019.
The appeal was signed by musicians across genres and generations, including Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Bob Geldof, Coldplay, Sting and Dua Lipa, as well as producers and operators of concert halls and clubs.
(Production: Lisa Giles-Keddie)
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
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