ISM calls for the Government to extend the financial support schemes to prevent the music sector from collapse

  • In a letter to the Chancellor, the ISM calls for the extension of the financial support schemes until social distancing measures are no longer enforced
  • ISM also calls for the Government to introduce an urgent sector-specific package of financial support - similar to the €50 billion programme in Germany

The ISM has written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for the extension of the financial packages in place for workers, to prevent the music sector from collapse, following reports that the Government is considering bringing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Scheme to a close in July.

The music industry and wider music workforce - the backbone of the £5.2 billion music industry, has been significantly affected by lockdown and the introduction of social distancing measures.

Overnight performers, composers, producers, conductors, agents, teachers, academics, advisers and sound technicians have all lost their jobs due to school closures and the cancellation of concerts and festivals. Until mass gatherings are reintroduced - likely the last stage of lockdown easing - a significant proportion of the music sector cannot return to work.

In addition to an extension to the financial support schemes in place for workers, the ISM also calls for the Government to intervene and provide robust, sector-specific financial support for the music and wider creative industries - similar to the €50 billion programme in Germany.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians said:


‘We are extremely grateful for the financial support packages introduced by the Government which have provided some level of security for the music sector during this difficult time. However, it is clear that the sector is at risk of collapse without significant action from the Government.

The reality is that until mass gatherings are reintroduced, which is likely to be the last stage of lockdown easing, the music sector cannot return to work. And when normal activities resume, it is uncertain that audiences will feel confident returning to live events and venues. We are therefore calling for the Government to extend the financial support schemes for music and other creative workers until social distancing measures are no longer enforced and mass gatherings are permitted. Without the continuation of these schemes, the music sector cannot survive.

However, if the Governments is committed to protecting the music and wider creative sector from financial ruin, an urgent sector-specific package of financial support - like the €50 billion programme introduced in Germany - is desperately needed.

Without an intervention of this sort, there is a huge risk that there may be no cultural sector left when this crisis is over.’


Notes for editors


Since the developments surrounding COVID-19 intensified, the ISM has written numerous letters to the Chancellor outlining the impact of COVID-19 on the music sector. Read the letters at ism.org/news.

About the ISM


The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK's professional body for musicians and a nationally-recognised subject association for music. Since 1882, we have been dedicated to promoting the importance of music and protecting the rights of those working in the music profession. We support approximately 10,000 musicians across the UK and Ireland with our unrivalled legal advice and representation, comprehensive insurance and specialist services. Our members come from all areas of the music profession and from a wide variety of genres and musical backgrounds. We campaign tirelessly in support of musicians’ rights, music education and the profession as a whole. We are a financially independent not-for-profit organisation with no political affiliation. This independence allows us the freedom to campaign on any issue affecting musicians.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

Read our letter to the Chancellor