Calls to help Scottish music industry ‘on brink of collapse’

The Scottish Government has been urged to intervene to help prevent job losses in the industry.

Calls to help Scottish music industry ‘on brink of collapse’ Getty Images

The Scottish music industry is on the verge of collapse unless the Scottish Government intervenes, a task force has said.

The Scottish Commercial Music Industry Task Force (SCMIT) has written to the Scottish Government urging it to take action to prevent job losses and further loss of income.

The group say that unlike in England and Wales, there is no roadmap for the music industry in Scotland to reopen following the coronavirus pandemic. 

There is also a lack of any ongoing sector-specific financial support, the task force added.

Geoff Ellis, CEO of DF Concerts and Events, said: “The music industry in Scotland is worth close to half a billion pounds in music tourism alone. 

“Live events are at the heart of Scotland’s cultural identity and all of this is in serious jeopardy right now as our industry continues to suffer with no meaningful roadmap nor any sector specific financial support available going forward. 

“We need the Scottish Government to step up and give our industry some hope via indicative opening dates – without physical distancing – that we can use to start planning the journey back to creating life affirming moments for Scottish music fans. 

“As regards, government support meantime, we are all (promoters, venues, festivals, managers, roadies, etc) merely seeking parity with our counterparts in England and Wales and given access to vital funding if the sector is to survive.” 

Donald Macleod, founder of Hold Fast Ents/CPL added:“We are now witnessing the avoidable demise of the Scottish Music Industry. 

“The jobs and talent we are losing will cause irreparable damage to our industry. Music is not just of economic importance to Scotland but is also of huge cultural and social significance and so the Scottish Government must act now. 

“Today we are calling them to step up and provide a clear roadmap to re-opening that we can collectively follow and work toward, as is the case in England and Wales.” 

The Scottish Government said the recently updated levels system, which shows the route map out of lockdown, will allow for some events to go ahead from level two and below.

This will include outdoor seated and open space events with a maximum capacity of 500 people, outdoor grouped standing events with a maximum capacity of 250 people and small seated indoor events with a maximum of 100 people.

The Scottish Government added that funding has been provided to the sector through £6.2m from the Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund, the £12m Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund and a £17m fund for creative freelancers.

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