Liam Gallagher, Coldplay, Muse, Biffy Clyro & more back #LetTheMusicPlay campaign

Calling on the government to support the UK's live music scene

Author: Scott ColothanPublished 2nd Jul 2020
Last updated 2nd Jul 2020

1,500 artists from across the music world have backed a new campaign called #LetTheMusicPlay by signing an open letter to the government calling for more support for the UK’s beleaguered live music scene.

Since live music was brought to a juddering standstill in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign says that the financial impact on venues, events and the people that work on them has been momentous.

Announcing #LetTheMusicPlay today (2nd July), a statement on the Concert Promoters Association’s website says that UK live music supported “210,000 jobs across the country and added £4.5bn to the economy in 2019.”

Music concert crowd

They explained that “with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed” the future for the entire scene “looks bleak” and that government support is “crucial to prevent mass insolvencies.”

Addressed directly to the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, the open letter says: “(The) government has addressed two important British pastimes – football and pubs – and it’s now crucial that it focuses on a third, live music.

“For the good of the economy, the careers of emerging British artists, and the UK’s global music standing, we must ensure that a live music industry remains when the pandemic has finally passed.”

Among the plethora of artists who have signed the letter are Biffy Clyro, Muse, Eric Clapton, Blossoms, Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Sir Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Blur, Manic Street Preachers, Genesis, Phil Collins, Roger Daltrey, The Chemical Brothers, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, Radiohead, Snow Patrol, The Vaccines, Mumford & Sons, Kaiser Chiefs, Iron Maiden, Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler, Franz Ferdinand, Elbow, Placebo, Feeder, Queens of the Stone Age, The 1975, Judas Priest, Travis, The Stone Roses, Lionel Richie, Jeff Lynne, Sting, Ash, Suede, Maximo Park, YES and many more.

#LetTheMusicPlay on social media

Together with raising live music’s bleak plight, the campaign is calling on music fans to share on social media a film or photo of the last gig they played or saw with the hashtag #LetTheMusicPlay.

Many musicians and bands have been getting involved online too.

Sharing a clip of his MTV Unplugged performance in Hull, Liam Gallagher wrote: “Amazing gigs don’t happen without an amazing team behind the stage, but they’ll all be out of jobs unless we can get back out there doing what we love.

“I can’t wait to get back to playing for the amazing fans but in the meantime we need to look after the live industry. There are so many great people in it and we all need to support them until we can get back to playing live LG x #LetTheMusicPlay”

Muse wrote: "For Muse, playing live & having the opportunity to connect with you is so important. We're so grateful for the experience that live music gives us all. The government must step up & show the industry the support it deserves in these difficult & challenging times #LetTheMusicPlay."

Sharing photos of their Natural History Museum concert last year, Coldplay said: "Today, we join with artists & music fans to call on the UK government to offer support to the live music industry, which faces decimation.

"Join us by sharing pics/vids of your last pre-lockdown gig, using #LetTheMusicPlay."

The Rolling Stones shared a photo of the setlist from their last live show at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on 30th August 2019:

Snow Patrol said: Please share your videos & pics of your last or favourite gigs in support of the UK music industry. It’s struggling massively with 50% of the live music industry workforce facing unemployment. Our last gig was @BelWaterfront, dec 11, 2019 Reworked Tour. #LetTheMusicPlay

Suede commented: "For the good of the economy, the careers of emerging British artists, and the UK’s global music standing, we must ensure that a live music industry remains when the pandemic has finally passed."

Metal legends Iron Maiden wrote: "Every band has to start somewhere (in time), & Iron Maiden were no exception. 90% of the UK's grassroots music venues are under threat of closure due to Covid-19. Please show your support for live music & share a photo/video from the last gig you went to, tagging #LetTheMusicPlay."

Scottish indie-rock icons Franz Ferdinand said: "The effects of COVID 19 have hit the music industry hard, especially everyone’s favourite venues. It's a long road out of this but we need to help jumpstart the conversation and secure the government’s support. #LetTheMusicPlay"

Elbow are also streaming their last live performance on YouTube today (2nd July):

Blossoms shared the hashtag #LetTheMusicPlay and posted further information about the campaign:

Travis wrote: "Where would we be without live music? We're about to find out. It's all about to get very quiet out there. Without the live music industry there is no music industry. Period. It's time for government to do the right thing. #LetTheMusicPlay"

The Vaccines commented: "The employment and enjoyment of so so many people that we all know and love and rely on will be severely impacted unless the gov acts fast to help pull the UK’s live music industry out of the critical situation it finds itself in ??#LetTheMusicPlay"

Check out some more posts here:

Find out more about #LetTheMusicPlay

Absolute Radio

Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones