Artists, promoters, organisations and venues across the UK music sector have come together to lend support to #LetTheMusicPlay , a campaign to draw attention to the precarious situation that performers and venues found themselves in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Launched on July 2 by UK Music, the organisation representing the country’s commercial music sector, the members behind #LetTheMusicPlay wrote an open letter, signed by 560 major artists from the pop, rock world and beyond to the government, urging them to support the live music industry.
Earlier this week, Music Venues Trust warned the UK government that new scheme, "project speed", could threaten the future of live music, and #LetTheMusicPlay campaign’s letter echoed the same opinion.
The letter read : "UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. 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
Outlining three "key asks", the campaign called on the government to offer : 'A clear conditional timeline for reopening venues without social distancing', and 'an immediate comprehensive business and employment support package', and ‘an extension of the furlough scheme, help for the self-employed/sole traders to prevent mass redundancies, and rent breaks for venues to allow them to reopen.’
The campaign encouraged people to share a photo, video or memory of the final concert they attended prior to lockdown on Twitter, using the #letthemusicplay hashtag. The music industry and audiences from all genres from rock to classical, rallied together to trend the hashtag far and wide.
Among those supporting the hashtag were Black Coffee, Daniel Avery, Four Tet,and Skream, with London mega-venue Printworks and Glastonbury behemoths Block9 also backing the campaign.
To find out more about the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign, visit UK Music’s website.