Music venues call for help to stay alive
By Rob Freeman | 25th June 2020
Owners of live venues in Gloucestershire are among music promoters who have written to the Government calling for a £50million package to support the stricken industry.
And the Everyman Theatre has joined venues and stars in urging for help to prevent mass closures.
The operators of Gloucester Guildhall, the Frog & Fiddle pub in Cheltenham and The Prince Albert in Stroud are among the signatories of the open letter to the Government from grassroots music venues across the country.
Live music across the country came to an end in March as coronavirus restrictions took hold and venues are still waiting to hear when they can reopen.
This weekend's Glastonbury Festival is among the high-profile casualties, but smaller venues have been left counting the cost of inactivity.
The open letter to the Government said: "Last year there were more than 175,000 events in our venues that gave people the experiences they love and the artists the opportunities they need. Since March 20 there have been no events.
"This is because our sector has complied with the public health guidance. We did the right thing. We closed to protect our communities."
Music Venue Trust, who represent the venues, called on the Government to provide an immediate £50million support package and a reduction in VAT on ticket sales.
The letter said: "These measures are simple, quick, effective and would prevent the closure of hundreds of grassroots music venues. They are the right thing to do.
"We do not need permanent government intervention to exist. We are not asking to become a permanently subsidised drain on the public purse.
"We need government to take two simple steps and leave us to work out how to do the rest."
The Everyman was among representatives of the theatre industry which wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden calling for investment.
Theatres will be allowed to reopen from July 4 but with severe restrictions for social distancing and many leading productions have said they will not be returning for some time.
UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre research predicts 70 per cent of the country's venues will run out of money by the end of the year with an Oxford University report saying up to 400,000 jobs could be lost.
The Everyman has reopened its cafe bar and has run virtual shows online during lockdown.
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