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The Incorporated Society of Musicians comments on the Office for National Statistics' fortnightly business survey

Commenting on the fortnightly business survey by the Office for National Statistics, the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ Chief Executive, Deborah Annetts, said:

‘The latest study of the economy shows that the arts, entertainment & recreation is the sector worst affected by coronavirus. The reality of socially distanced performances means that most venues simply cannot afford to reopen, leaving the vast majority of musicians without work and in desperate financial difficulty.

‘That is why over 120 organisations from across the creative industry are calling on the government to create tailored financial support for our self-employed workforce until venues can properly reopen. If they do not support the lifeblood of the performing arts, then we are looking at the devastation of our sector and an exodus of highly skilled talent.’

Notes to Editors

ONS survey results

  • The arts, entertainment and recreation industry had the largest proportion of the workforce furloughed, at 51%, compared with 13% across all industries.
  • The arts, entertainment and recreation industry, and the accommodation and food service activities industry both had 23% of their businesses reporting their risk of insolvency was severe to moderate, compared with 11% across all industries.
  • The arts, entertainment and recreation industry reported the highest percentage of businesses indicating that footfall had decreased, at 76%, compared with normal expectations for this time of year.
  • The data was published on 27 August and relates to the period 27 July 2020 to 9 August 2020.

Creative industry letter to the Treasury

  • A letter coordinated by the ISM and Equity and signed by over 120 organisations from across the creative sector was sent to the Chancellor on 19 August 2020.
  • Covered by The Guardian, it called on the government to extend financial support for freelancers working in the performing arts and entertainment industries until the spring of 2021.

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 over 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.

For more information, please contact [email protected]