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One in three UK music jobs wiped out by COVID, report says

Tue, 19th Oct 2021 00:00

By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped
out one in three jobs in the UK music industry, a trade body
said on Tuesday, as it called for government support to help the
sector recover.

The number of jobs fell 35% to 128,000 in 2020 from 197,000
in 2019 as the pandemic shut down live events and forced studios
to close their doors, UK Music said in its annual report.

Some 69,000 jobs were lost in a sector where three quarters
of workers are self-employed and did not receive help from
government support schemes, according to the "This Is Music
2021" report.

The music industry's contribution to the UK economy fell 46%
to 3.1 billion pounds ($4.26 billion) in 2020 from 5.8 billion
pounds in 2019, the report added. Exports fell 23% to 2.3
billion pounds.

"The past 18 months have been exceptionally challenging for
the UK music industry, with billions wiped off the value of the
sector – but we are determined to look to the future and focus
on recovery," UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said.

UK Music called on the government to introduce tax
incentives and employment-boosting measures, and to help
musicians and crew deal with the paperwork and extra costs
involved in touring mainland Europe after Brexit.

It said it also wants a permanent reduction in the
value-added tax (VAT) rate on tickets and live music events,
more funding and support for music exports as well as funding
for music education and for the self-employed.

After imposing the first national lockdown in March 2020,
the British government announced a 2-billion-pound culture
recovery fund to help museums, cinemas, theatres, cinemas and
arts venues.

Entertainment venues have since reopened and late summer
festivals including the Reading and Leeds twin events resumed.
($1 = 0.7283 pounds)
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Andrew
Heavens)

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