Dan Morris has given an insight on the impact COVID-19 has had on the live music industry and how he is supporting the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign.
The campaign was launched on 2nd July by UK music to highlight the importance of the live music industry to the UK’s economy.
Dan is a Concert Promoter for TEG/MJR, he explains how detrimental the COVID-19 Pandemic has been for the live music industry:
“Its had a major impact – All gig bookings for 2020 have either had to be rescheduled or cancelled due to COVID, which has had a detrimental impact on not just grassroots venues, but across the industry as a whole,
“I am the promoter for a vast array of UK venues, including Tramshed in Cardiff, Leeds Warehouse, Birmingham The Mill, Southampton Engine Rooms, Reading Sub 89, Hull Asylum, Sheffield Foundry – all of which are established strong venues, are struggling, and will continue to struggle till we can reopen to the public. 97% of all revenue for the industry has halted overnight – so the impact is devastating.”
UK music has listed the three key ways they are asking the government for support on:
“1. A clear conditional timeline for reopening venues without social distancing.
2. An immediate comprehensive business and employment support package and access to finance.
3. Full VAT exemption on ticket sales.”
Dan admits that he thought the live music industry may have been forgotten about by the government:
“Up until last week, I thought we had been forgotten yes, lucky enough, after some very heavy campaigning and lobbying – the government has pledged 1.5 billion to the arts, we are just waiting to see how this will be distributed.
“The UK music industry is worth over 4.5 billion pounds to the economy each year, meaning the 1.5 billion is vital to us and the economy. Fingers crossed the money leaves London.”
He explains how tough it was to cancel so many upcoming events:
“It’s not brilliant – the diary was looking very full, with some very very established acts, who are having to be pushed back to next year. I think if we can hold on for the next few months, we will come back stronger – we have some major artists in the pipeline.”
The Preston music promoter gives his opinion on when the general public will be able to enjoy live music again:
“I think realistically it will be February 2021 before we will see a viable revival. We are still awaiting some further guidance from the government, which will be opening at reduced capacities in the first instance, however, the next step after that is public confidence.
“It’s all about when the punter is comfortable returning to live music. We don’t want to put anyone in the general public at risk, however, our industry is currently at major risk. We need to be able to survive till it’s safe enough to open our doors again, and will need support once we are there. I hope we will see something this year, but currently, it’s looking unlikely.”