Craig David has joined more than 1,500 artists in backing an open letter calling on the government to support the country’s live music industry amid concerns over the effects of the coronavirus lockdown.
Other signatories include the north London native Jess Glynne, Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler, music producer Mark Ronson and the indie band London Grammar, whose Jewish guitarist Dan Rothman is a former JFS pupil.
The open letter, addressed to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, says that with concerts and festivals unlikely to return until 2021 at the earliest, the industry is at imminent risk of “mass insolvencies”.
“UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural and economic successes of the past decade,” it says. “But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from Government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.”
A Government spokeswoman said: “We are already providing unprecedented financial assistance which many music organisations and artists have taken advantage of, such as loans and the job retention scheme, and we continue to look at additional support we can provide the industry.
“We recognise that this pandemic has created major challenges for the sector and are working closely with them to develop comprehensive guidance for performances and events to return as soon as possible.”
Dowden tweeted: “I understand the deep anxiety of those working in music and the desire to see fixed dates for reopening. I am pushing hard for these dates and to give you a clear roadmap back. These involve very difficult decisions about the future of social distancing, which we know has saved lives.”