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Here we go Again. Lockdown Part 2 and the Impact on the UK’s Live Music Industry.

Andy Robertson

As the UK enters another lockdown on Tuesday 5th November 2020 the impact on the live music industry could be the final curtain call for an industry already in crisis. Musicians, venues and the thousands of support services workers now face another complete closure until at least January 2021. 

The new rules coming into effect from 5th November mean that all non-essential businesses including shops, pubs and restaurants must close. All non-essential travel is banned and people are banned from mixing households in almost all circumstances. Pubs and restaurants have been ordered to close under the new rules too, however they will be permitted to sell takeaway alcohol if it is pre-ordered online, or via phone or post, according to proposed regulations.

Once again, the live music industry must take a hit with no events permitted. Whilst there still seems to be the odd illegal rave here and there the potential fines are not insignificant. For organisers of large gatherings and music events, repeatedly holding parties or deliberately causing harm to communities by not following the restrictions, such as self-isolating where necessary could incur a fixed penalty notice of £10,000. For individuals the penalties are less harsh with fines starting at £100 if paid within 14 days, otherwise it's £200 and these penalties double each time for repeat offenders.

In light of the potential consequences of this new lockdown the UK government has extended some of the financial support schemes. This year already the government has announced several initiatives for financial support to the events industry however it is a drop in the ocean of what is required for survival and securing industry related jobs. Government support through the Cultural Recovery Fund has assisted venues that aren’t able to open get financial support to ensure they don’t go under but what about those employed in supporting the live music industry?

For those employed as employees the benefits for being furloughed have been extended where workers will be paid 80% of their salary up to £2,500 per month. This scheme was meant to end on 31 October but it will now run through November. The change for this new lockdown is that employers now only have to cover National Insurance and pension contributions. This scheme will only apply to employers who pass a financial impact test to show how their turnover has been reduced by coronavirus and only applies for companies with more than 250 staff.

As the majority of workers in the live music industry are working for small companies or are self-employed, they do not qualify for the above benefits and instead will have to rely on the self-employed grant. The next grant is due to cover November through to January and will now be worth up to £5,160 it can be claimed from 30 November. This scheme may be extended in 2021 possibly until the end of April but this has not yet been confirmed 

FestivalPro we support everyone working in the live music events industry and are doing our best to help event organisers plan for their events in 2021. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features for all aspects of live music event planning and logistics. 

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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