One in three jobs in the UK music industry were lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report by the UK Music trade body.
The research said there were 69,000 fewer jobs in music in 2020 than in 2019 – a 35% drop – due to the “devastating impact” of the coronavirus.
UK Music said the industry was hit “particularly hard” by the virus.
The musicians themselves and the people who work in the clubs and recording studios were particularly affected, he said.
Live music revenues plummeted about 90% in 2020, according to the UK Music report, titled This Is Music 2021, released on Tuesday.
“Music creators and the live music sectors have suffered the biggest decline: most of those working in the sector are self-employed and have been hit particularly hard by Covid-19,” he said.
Loss of workforce
He noted that while many were able to get support from the government leave program, “many were ineligible.”
“This has led to thousands of music creators, crews and others leaving the industry for other industries,” he continued.
“Many are still pursuing a career in music, but the need has meant finding alternative sources of income.”
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The music industry workforce dropped from 197,000 to 128,000 in 2020 after growing in the previous decade, he said.
UK Music couldn’t say how many of these works returned in 2021, with most venues now reopening after restrictions were lifted.
With many venues closing their doors last year and events like the Glastonbury Festival forced to cancel, the music industry’s contribution to the UK economy fell by 46%, from £ 5.8bn in 2019 to 3.1 billion pounds in 2020, according to the research.
The value of UK music exports also declined, from £ 2.9bn in 2019 to £ 2.3bn, according to the report.
UK Music has called on the government to introduce measures including tax incentives to help the industry recover.
“The past 18 months have been exceptionally busy for the UK music industry, with billions wiping out the industry’s value, but we are determined to look forward and focus on recovery,” said Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, Chief Executive Officer by UK Music.
“In a year where we have seen how important music is to all of our lives, it is more important than ever to take the necessary steps to protect, strengthen and grow the industry.”
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In an introduction to the report, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the government’s goal so far has been “rescue and reopening”.
“Now the priority is to ensure a strong recovery,” he continued. “The UK music industry is one of our country’s great national assets and I am committed to the government continuing to support it every step of the way.”
Singer Becky Hill, who collaborated with David Guetta on the hit Remember earlier this year, said she saw people close to her suffer “massively” during the pandemic.
“My partner works in events and started his brand new Weekender festival in Plymouth which started in 2020. We invested a lot of money and of course they had to cancel and they lost everything,” he told Radio 1 Newsbeat.
“It was a really tough experience watching him and the other festivals he books for practically on his knees, and I’ve seen a lot of people suffer from incredibly bad mental health, and it was really sad to watch.”
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