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Niall Horan, Dua Lipa and Rita Ora among list of celebrities backing Let The Music Play campaign

The campaign calls for government support for the live music industry

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Hundreds of musicians have signed an open letter for the Let The Music Play campaign, which calls for government support for the live music industry amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Stars have been using their platform to call out the UK government to “step up and save the industry” with concerts and festivals unlikely to make a return any time soon.

Little Mix, Rita Ora, Niall Horan and Dua Lipa are just some of the celebrities who have backed the campaign.

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The live music industry was one of the first to be hit by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and will be one of the last to get back on its feet. Government support has been vital for so many in our sector. However, this support is now tapering to an end, and with no clear timeline on when the industry can return to full capacity, festivals and venues are struggling to survive. Like other countries such as Germany and Australia, we need the Government to help the music industry, which contributes £5.2 billion to the economy annually and sustains almost 200,000 jobs, to ensure it remains world-leading following the damage caused by this pandemic. The music industry has come together with a major campaign to highlight the huge challenges for the industry and some possible solutions. Our campaign is called #LetTheMusicPlay. It has support right across the industry and gathering huge public support too. Read more to find out what we are asking for, why it is needed, what we are doing and what you can do. ukmusic.org/policy/let-the-music-play #LETTHEMUSICPLAY

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Organisers of the campaign have said there have been “hundreds” of redundancies in the live music industry as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, they said: “With no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.”

The campaign is asking the government for a timeline for reopening venues, immediate support packages for businesses affected, and full VAT exemption on ticket sales.

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Live gigs and festivals can’t happen without the hard work of an incredible team behind the scenes, but without gigs all of those people are out of jobs and the live music industry is at risk. Last year the UK’s live music industry added £4.5bn to the economy and supported 200k jobs across the country. Until we can get back to doing what we love, it’s important we speak up and demand government support for all of the various venues, festivals and promoters. This photo is from one of the last shows I played before the world went into lockdown. I miss it like crazy. We must stick together through this. Share a photo from your last show and let’s get their attention. #LetTheMusicPlay

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Niall Horan, who was forced to cancel his Nice To Meet Ya world tour this year, shared his support for the campaign on Instagram.

“Until we can get back to doing what we love, it’s important we speak up and demand government support for all of the various venues, festivals and promoters,” he wrote.

Meanwhile Dua Lipa stated now is the time to “pay back” those who make up the music industry.

She wrote: “The industry urgently needs Govt support in the interim period before all the various venues, festivals & promoters are ready and able to operate independently again.”

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I miss this so much! I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've been given. Now it's time to pay back to the incredible people who make up the UK music industry including all the crew who work so hard behind the scenes. From the very start of my own career, playing live concerts up and down the country has been a cornerstone for my own career.   I am proud to have had the chance to play through all the levels…small clubs, then theatres and ballrooms and into arenas, and of course festivals in between each touring cycle. But the possibility for other emerging British artists to take the same path is in danger and the livelihoods of those who work behind the scenes are at risk. The industry urgently needs Govt support in the interim period before all the various venues, festivals & promoters are ready and able to operate independently again. #LetTheMusicPlay

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Little Mix showed their support for the campaign by sharing photos from one of their last shows, and said it wouldn’t have been possible without “everyone working so hard behind the scenes”.

“It’s time for the government to step up and save the industry #LetTheMusicPlay,” they added. 

Rita Ora shared a clip of her performing at Avicii’s tribute concert, saying she was “honoured” to be part of the campaign.

“Right now, the future for hundreds of thousands of people who work in live music is uncertain,” she wrote on Instagram.

“I’m so honoured to be part of the call on the U.K. Government to protect the venues, festivals and everyone working in the live sector!!”

“Let’s all show our support to the people that need it by uploading photos from the last show you went to with #LetTheMusicPlay and be heard!!”

To find out more about the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign, visit UK Music’s website.

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