YTL Arena Supports Let the Music Play Campaign

The government has announced a £1.57bn support package to protect the UK’s music and creative industries.

Last week, artists and organisations from across the UK music sector came together in support of a campaign calling on the government for immediate action to protect one of the most vulnerable industries to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

UK Music and members of the UK Live Music Group, alongside a coalition of live music businesses including artists, venues, concerts, festivals, production companies and industry figures launched a campaign, Let The Music Play, to highlight the importance of the sector to the UK’s economy.

On 5 July, the government unveiled a £1.57bn support package to help protect the futures of UK theatres, galleries, museums and other cultural venues.

Reacting to the package, UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl said:

“A £1.57bn support package for the arts is a huge step forward and should be a lifesaver for many music venues. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and DCMS Minister Caroline Dinenage are to be warmly congratulated.

“The music industry was one of the first sectors to be hit by measures to tackle COVID-19.

“UK Music has long called for sector specific support to ensure live music can recover. Eligibility for grants and loans must be as broad as possible to ensure maximum take up from across the industry from those in desperate need of help.

“Those that don’t have a track record of public funding must also not be put at a disadvantage. We are seeking urgent talks with Arts Council England to discuss further.”

More than 1,500 artists, including Dua Lipa, Radiohead, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, signed the open letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden.

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“UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade,” reads the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign letter. “But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for venues, concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.

“Like other countries such as Germany and Australia, we need the Government to help the music industry, which contributes £5.2bn to the economy annually and sustains almost 200,000 jobs to ensure it remains world-leading following the damage caused by this pandemic.

“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.

“On July 2, 2020, UK Music and members of the UK Live Music Group, alongside a coalition of live music businesses including artists, venues, concerts, festivals, production companies and industry figures launched a campaign, Let The Music Play, to highlight the importance of the sector to the UK’s economy.”

YTL Arena Complex managing Director Andrew Billingham said: ‘We fully support the Let the Music Play campaign and are encouraged to see that the government is listening. Music is the heartbeat of Bristol and plays an important cultural role within the city. Without the grassroots arts and cultural organisations live entertainment would not exist. They not only enrich our lives, but also make a huge contribution to our economy. It’s encouraging to see the government get behind the industry and support them during these unprecedented times.”

On Friday 19 June, we announced that we will be working with global entertainment company Live Nation to present an exciting summer of live music, theatre and cinema events. Utilita Live From the Drive-In aims to reopen the live entertainment market while adhering to strict social distancing guidelines, allowing fans to return to live events and keep safe from Covid-19.

Sarah McBride, Partnerships Director for YTL Arena Complex, said: “We are incredibly excited to be hosting Live Nation’s drive-in events here at the former Filton Airfield. This is an opportunity for the live events sector to start up again safely, supporting staff, performers and restoring confidence in audiences. This is going to be an exciting summer, packed with a range of events for all ages to enjoy and we look forward to welcoming everyone on site.”