While lauding the U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer’s recent measures to support the work force, “these measures do not go far enough for our industry,” the CMM said in an open letter to the government on Monday.
The CMM is made up of the Featured Artists Coalition, Ivors Academy, Music Managers Forum, Music Producers Guild and the Musicians’ Union. A recent Musicians’ Union survey of 2,000 of their members revealed that 34% of musicians may quit the industry due to COVID-19; 47% have been forced to look for work outside of music; 70% are unable to do more than a quarter of their usual work; 87% covered by furlough and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme would face financial hardship when schemes end in their current form; and 88% do not think that government has done enough to support musicians.
The letter states that the events, arts and culture industries have three times more the national average of workers on furlough and that 72% of the 190,000 workers in the music industry are freelance, many of whom continue not to qualify for support under the government schemes. “The implication that the occupations of many in this world-beating music business are not ‘viable’ does not marry with its large-scale contribution to the economy,” the letter says, in a reference to the scheme that supports “viable” jobs where employees must work at least a third of their normal working hours.
“In addition to other restrictions, as we look to another business quarter with no live music, and nowhere in sight for it to return in full, we urgently need support to avoid the decay of our industry, the hardship experienced by our workforce and the mass exodus of highly-skilled individuals, which will result in irreparable damage to lives, businesses and the world-class standing of the U.K. music industry,” the letter continues.
“As much of the workforce faces further redundancies, financial devastation and irreparable damage, we need action now before we lose our talent and economic value for good,” the letter concludes.