Coronavirus (COVID-19) campaigning
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the music industry and its workforce. Venues have not been permitted to open due to safety restrictions or, when allowed, it was not viable for them to do so with reduced audience capacity.
With over 40% of musicians not having received any financial support, and many more considering leaving the profession, it is imperative that the Government protects our world-leading arts sector. That is why the ISM continues to campaign to ensure that musicians will not have to turn their backs on their careers and talents. We will use every opportunity to lobby so that all pupils can enjoy the rich benefits of a music education and audiences can safely enjoy live performance again soon.
Before the Chancellor delivered the Budget on 3 March 2021, the ISM campaigned for the Government to implement a range of measures. These were promoted by writing to the Chancellor, making a submission to the Treasury as part of the Creators' Rights Alliance and commenting on the new funding for the arts. This followed our #MakeMusicWork campaign in late 2020.
Our initial response to the Budget focussed on the extension of the measures that had been adopted by the Government. That including further arts funding, the extension of the reduced VAT rate and Universal Credit uplift.
Fighting for our future
In the months ahead, we will be calling on the Government to remove the obstacles to venues reopening, improve the viability of live performance and help ensure the sector continues to attract and retain talent. This will include our suggestions that were not adopted in the Budget like expanding existing support for freelancers, creating a Government-backed reinsurance scheme and new tax relief measures. We are also calling for improvements to the Cultural Recovery Fund.
As we approach the second year of the pandemic, we know how challenging this period has been for our members. That is why we are more determined than ever to make the Government appreciate the contribution of the music sector and how we need urgent, effective support to prevent an exodus of world-leading talent.