Figures from Britain’s music industry have warned that without support to tackle rising energy bills, music studios, venues and other businesses could close.
The government has pledged to help domestic households cope with rising energy bills, which are expected to soar by up to 80% in October with an updated price cap, but no price cap has been introduced for businesses in the music, entertainment and hospitality sectors. .
Some concert halls have reported that their bills have increased by 300 to 740%, according to music weekincreasing the running costs of the spaces by tens of thousands of pounds.
Music Producers Guild executive director Cameron Craig highlighted the issues faced by those running independent recording studios, saying the COVID pandemic had only recently shown “how run they are”.
“The unprecedented rise in energy costs is just another blow to an industry that has just found itself in a post-pandemic recovery, once again creating an uncertain future,” Craig said. “We are calling on the government to help the recording industry or lose an integral part of the UK’s cultural and creative capital.”
British Music Return @ukMPG as they warn studios risk closure without urgent action to deal with crippling energy bills.
The government must cut VAT and extend business aid to give a lifeline to music businesses struggling to survive.
Learn more here: https://t.co/dGeTZ2VHbp pic.twitter.com/WFqGJyqOy6
— UK Music (@UK_Music) August 30, 2022
UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has also called on the government to urgently put in place measures that will help venues, studios and other music-related businesses survive. He suggested cutting VAT by 20% and extending business rates to give those affected in the industry a chance to survive.
“Skyrocketing energy costs have created an existential threat to venues and music studios,” Njoku-Goodwin said. “There is an urgent need for government action to support businesses with the costs they face. We’ve all seen how miserable life was without live music during the pandemic when venues were closed for months – the high cost of energy bills could now shut them down forever.
“The new Prime Minister must ensure that music companies are included in the support measures that are on offer to deal with soaring energy costs. The government should consider reducing VAT and extending business support to help music businesses struggling to survive.
The Music Venue Trust (MVT) has also conducted a survey of its members, which include 941 venues across the UK, and found that on average they face a price hike of 316%, equivalent to to an energy bill of £5,179 per month for each room. . That’s an increase of £1,245.
The MVT has warned that around 30% of its members are now at risk of permanent closure due to soaring prices. Group CEO Mark Davyd said: “As well as simply unaffordable cost increases, the government must urgently address the fact that the energy supply market has collapsed.
“We have many examples where sites have no choice but to accept price increases and tariffs offered by the only supplier willing to offer them electricity. The situation quickly deteriorated into a monopoly.
Earlier this month, Davyd said NME that the energy crisis threatened to “shut down more sites than the pandemic”.
“It’s weird to say it, but unlike COVID when you could go, ‘OK, we need to raise money now because in a year the sites will be open’, we can’t do it now because ‘they’re going to pay another electric bill next year and the year after, obviously,” he said. “I don’t see any end to that unless the venues raise their prices .”
The MVT CEO added that spiraling costs would either see music fans being asked to pay higher prices or venues would end up shutting down altogether. “The government should impose a price cap immediately. Right now there is a certain amount of time to sit back and see what happens. Either something works, or it doesn’t, and it doesn’t.