MPA, The Ivors, PRS, MU and top classical figures ask for ticket subsidy relief scheme

The MPA, The IVORS Academy, PRS for Music, Musicians Union and a roster of top figures in the classical music sector have co-signed a letter to Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The letter calls for relief in the form of a Ticket Subsidy Scheme to all of those who contribute to classical music concerts as the classical sector relies on income from live more than any other genre of music in the UK.

Following the positive announcement from government that a £1.57bn support package for the arts and cultural organisations would be put in place, we still must ensure that everyone in the sector is accounted for and gets paid.

You can read the letter in full below:

30 June 2020

Letter to the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden RE Ticket Subsidy

Dear Secretary of State,

We, the undersigned, are writing to you concerning the critical risk that social distancing, as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic, is having on the UK’s concert hall venues. We support the MPA, The MU, PRS and The Ivors Academy’s request of DCMS and Treasury for relief through a Ticket Subsidy Scheme. The Scheme will not just help to save our concert hall venues up and down the country from closure, but essentially also support all contributors to classical music concerts who rely on income from live music events more than any other genre of music in the UK.

The Scheme would alleviate the limitations on concert attendance afforded by the social distancing required by the government, through a targeted and proportionate government initiative to purchase unsold tickets. Holding live concerts with only a c20-25% ticket purchasing audience is not financially viable for venues, while the musicians and conductors who perform, and the composers whose music they play remain starved of income until live concerts can once again be performed to the public.

A ticket subsidy scheme is simple to administer and would offer a lifeline to the cultural sector just as soon as live concerts are permitted to be performed to the public. This solution alone will not address some of the long-term sectoral problems laid bare by the Coronavirus Pandemic crisis, it will, however, provide an essential catalyst to re-opening this culturally important sector.

Yours sincerely,

Sir Simon Rattle OM, CBE Conductor

Jonny Greenwood Musician & Composer

Howard Goodall CBE Composer

Sir George Benjamin CBE Composer

John Rutter CBE Composer

Sir Karl Jenkins CBE Composer

Shirley Thompson OBE Composer

Daniel Kidane Composer

Judith Weir CBE Master of the Queen’s Music Composer

Sir James MacMillan Composer & Conductor

Mark Simpson Composer-in-Residence BBC Philharmonic

Mark-Anthony Turnage CBE Composer

Sir Harrison Birtwistle CH

Music Publishers Association, The IVORS Academy, PRS for Music, The Musicians Union

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