170,000 jobs in live music industry 'will be lost by Christmas'

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·2 min read
Live music concert
Research has shown that the industry faces an 81% decline in revenue this year compared to a year earlier, with many businesses bringing in zero revenue since March. Photo: Stephen Hird/Reuters

The UK’s live music industry faces a loss of 170,000 jobs by Christmas without further support, a new report has claimed.

Industry body LIVE, a new umbrella organisation representing the live music industry, warned that the £4.5bn ($5.9bn) sector was close to falling off a “cliff edge” as the government prepares to wind up its furlough scheme.

It estimates 64% of the sector’s 262,000 workers will lose their jobs by Christmas. The report added that 26,000 permanent jobs could cease to exist as well as a further 144,000 self-employed and freelance roles.

Live music venues have had their doors closed since March as large gatherings were banned due to the health crisis.

Research has shown that the industry faces an 81% decline in revenue this year compared to a year earlier, with many businesses bringing in zero revenue since March.

LIVE said the industry would suffer from a vast number of job redundancies due to the fact that it will no longer qualify for any job support schemes from the beginning of November.

Around 75% of live music employees have been enrolled on the government’s furlough scheme, while 15% had left the sector for good.

READ MORE: Live music scene worth £1bn to UK economy for the first time, industry report says

The industry is unable to take part in the new Job Support Scheme as it only applies to businesses which have been forced to close by new pandemic restrictions, the organisation said.

LIVE said: “The impact of the pandemic is felt at every level of the business: in grassroots venues; local communities that lose their regular fundraising events; the suspension of concerts, tours and residencies; organisers forced to cancel their annual festival; arenas and stadia that shutter or pivot to become NHS facilities.

“Most recently the ending of the furlough scheme and the sector’s exclusion from the extended Jobs Support is a hammer blow when considered with the new tier system of lockdowns and further restrictions on the industry restarting.

"In effect the government is now withdrawing support for those companies and jobs it does not consider viable in the short term, while also limiting the ability of the live music industry to relaunch.”

LIVE’s members include the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), the Music Managers Forum (MMF), and the Music Venue Trust (MVT).

Watch: What is the job support scheme?