live music industry

‘It’s long overdue’: UK’s first ever live music industry body launches

For the first time, a live music industry body has launched in the UK in a move to help tackle the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and Brexit.

Named LIVE (Live music industry, venue and entertainment) the industry body will serve as a collective voice for the UK’s live music ecosystem, including artists, managers, venues, festivals, promoters, agents, production and ticketing. Its memberships consists of 3,150 companies, over 4,000 artists and 2,000 backstage workers.

LIVE has already lobbied and worked with government to secure vital support for the industry through the Culture Recovery Fund, and is now formalising the group to help ensure the recovery of the industry.

Heading up LIVE as CEO is Greg Parmley, managing director of the International Live Music Conference. He commented: “It’s long overdue that the UK’s live music industry has a properly representative body, and LIVE will be that unified voice as the industry comes out of lockdown and beyond. The unprecedented challenges we face might paint a bleak picture, and this is a critical time, but together we can help protect jobs and the future of live music, as we move toward restoring the UK industry to its world leading best.

“LIVE is an opportunity to represent the whole of the live industry, from the smallest show to the biggest festival. We are delighted that the founding associations include organisations at the very top of our industry and those with deep connections into the foundations on which that industry is built.”

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Stuart Galbraith, CEO at promoter Kilimanjaro Live was also instrumental in the formation of LIVE, alongside Live Nation chief Phil Bowdery. Galbraith said: “LIVE is focused on securing the long-term support for our industry that we vitally need and protecting the jobs and livelihoods from the double whammy of COVID-19 and Brexit. We are a £4.5 billion world-leading industry, and by bringing together all of the unique voices within it and working collaboratively, we are in a far better position to protect and support our ecosystem as a result.

The organisation is currently campaigning for a three-year extension to the reduced cultural VAT rate on tickets, a government-backed insurance scheme to allow events to go ahead when it is safe to do so and targeted financial support to protect jobs and infrastructure. It is also working closely with trade body UK Music, as well as other bodies across the music and wider entertainment industry.

In addition to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Brexit is also posing significant challenges to the future of touring in the EU. LIVE is currently in conversation with a raft of industry experts who are working closely with government to find a resolution, as well as partner associations across the EU to source the latest and most accurate information on just how severely Brexit will impact the live music industry.

Last week, live events charity Stagehand announced that its COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund had reached over £1 million for those whose careers in the industry have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund, which launched in September 2020, has now hit £1.17 million, with Stagehand continuing to work to generate further donations and provide additional support for industry workers.

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