Freelance musicians unite in call for government support
Tuesday, 6 October 2020
musiciansLeading musical figures are supporting the initiative
UK - As part of the Let Music Live initiative, 400 freelance professional musicians from all parts of the industry will perform in Parliament Square and Centenary Square, Birmingham today, shining a light on the need for targeted support for freelance musicians and all those who work in the arts and entertainment sector.
They are also joined in solidarity by the Musicians’ Union, The Incorporated Society of Musicians, The Musicians’ Answering Service, Emily Eavis, Jools Holland, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Dan Smith of Bastille and more.
Conducted by renowned director David Hill in Parliament Square, the freelance musicians will perform a short section of Mars from Holst’s The Planets before standing in silence for two minutes. The 20% of the piece that they will perform represents the maximum 20% support that freelancers receive from the government through the SEISS grant. The two-minute silence represents the 33% of musicians currently not covered by the SEISS grant (MU). The event will be Covid-safe, adhering strictly to social distancing regulations, facilitated by support from #WeMakeEvents.
Covid restrictions have disproportionately impacted the music and events industries, resulting in an almost total loss of opportunity to work. Investment is essential so that freelance musicians can continue to support the intricate network of businesses that rely on arts and events for their footfall.
Jools Holland commented, “I fully support these wonderful musicians in their actions. They are part of an industry devastated by this crisis. Most importantly they bring such joy to our spirits, our country and our world. Post-apocalyptic scenes are often portrayed in fiction as places where there are no leaves on trees and the birds don’t sing. If we don’t support our musicians now, who find it impossible to work, I fear we are all taking a step closer to that nightmare world.”
The arts and culture industry contributes £10.8 billion a year directly to the UK economy (ONS), with growth in creative industries previously running at five times that of the rest of the economy. With effective short-term support, freelance musicians will continue to make a positive impact.
For every £1 directly spent on music and events, an extra £2 is generated in the wider economy (ACE), powering a network of businesses across the country. Supporting freelance musicians means supporting the wider economy.
Offering support at 20% of average monthly trading profits, capped at a maximum of £1,875 over the months of November, December and January, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension announced by the Government will put much of the skilled freelance workforce out of business. 33% of musicians are currently not covered by the SEISS grant (MU).
industries through this difficult time, the U.K. risks being left behind and losing its status as a leader in the field.
Galvanised by the energy and the goodwill among the musical community to want to keep music alive and perform again, violinist Jessie Murphy conceived the idea of getting together in Parliament Square, to show that “we are here and ready to work”. Like so many in her sector, all of Jessie’s work this year, including festivals with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, had to be cancelled due to Covid. A post on Facebook asking “Anyone else in?” became a group of over 2,000 within days.
On behalf of freelance musicians, violinist Jessie Murphy said: “We want to show that our profession is viable, and valuable. Freelancing can be misunderstood, we play in the O2 one day, a small wedding the next, and a film recording session the day after. Each one of us is a small business that contributes both to the economy and the wellbeing of the country.”
#WeMakeEvents said: “#WeMakeEvents is delighted that Let Music Live is lending its considerable support to the campaign. We have gained a lot of awareness through our recent activities, both with the public and the Government, particularly the Global Action Day on 30 September. We want that momentum to continue. Let Music Live is a wonderful way of garnering further support for our industry and those people and their families who are in need of help now.”

Latest Issue. . .

Tweets from our Friends