Feargel Sharkey reflects on how current cuts are affecting live music

Feargal Sharkey, CEO of UK Music, today addressed the Musician’s Union at Bristol’s Royal Marriot Hotel.

Issues such as the implementation of the Digital Economy Act, the Hargreaves Review and the ongoing fight to obtain a small venues exemption to the Licensing Act were touched upon, with Sharkey stating that “there is nothing more powerful than music.”

He also commented: “The Digital Economy Act is a vehicle which, when implemented, will help to stimulate and grow a legitimate online market for music and it is time that the Government fulfilled their commitment and moved forward on this.”

The two-day conference was also addressed this morning by John McDonnell MP, in addition to an international panel this afternoon, which featured speakers from the North American and French musicians’ unions.

John Smith, MU general secretary, added: “This year’s conference has been held against the backdrop of tough economic times, and all of our discussions have touched on how the current cuts agenda is affecting musicians. There are many developments still to come this year – for example the Government’s response to the Hargreaves Review, and further debate for the Live Music Bill – and the MU is committed to continue to campaign for increased rights for musicians.”