The Music Venue Trust (MVT) has shared a six-point plan for how it believes the UK Government can safeguard the future of live music after the easing of coronavirus restrictions was delayed by four weeks.
On Monday (June 14) it was confirmed that the previous “unlocking” date of June 21 – known to some as “Freedom Day”, where all coronavirus restrictions would be lifted in England – will now be delayed until July 19.
PM Boris Johnson told a press conference that the government had seen “more infections and more hospitalisations” of late, with the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreading faster than the third wave that was predicted when the roadmap was first drawn up back in February.
While the setback has caused renewed concern for music venues that were set to welcome back live performances, the MVT has now shared advice on how their futures can be secured.
The organisation are advising the government to extend the moratorium on commercial evictions until September 30, preventing grassroots music venues from facing eviction.
Business rates are also addressed by the MVT, with the organisation claiming that 100 per cent rate relief should be extended until March 2022.
Read our 6-point plan for Government Intervention to manage the impact of extended restrictions on grassroots music venues pic.twitter.com/78g8xdbF3E
— Music Venue Trust (@musicvenuetrust) June 15, 2021
“It is frankly bizarre for the government to impose a tax on premises it is simultaneously legislating cannot trade in order to pay that tax,” the MVT said in a statement.
Other issues, which are fully addressed in the video above, include bounce-back loans, rent debt settlement and calls to immediately release funding held for the third round of the government’s cultural recovery fund.
Last week the Music Venue Trust also warned that grassroots venues would face “mass evictions” unless the delay was met with substantial financial support from the government, with night time industry bosses are also fearful that the new ‘roadmap’ date would “decimate” the nightclub economy.
The UK government has meanwhile promised that a further £300 million in funding will be announced “soon”.