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Majority of UK would not feel safe returning to concerts next month – survey

More than 60 per cent of people in the UK said they would not feel safe returning to live music events in the current climate, according to a study by Music Venue Trust (MVT).

A survey of 28,640 members of the public found that while just under 90 per cent were keen to return to concerts, many held concerns about the current safety of such an event.

Half of respondents said they would visit venues less than they had before or not at all in July. The figure falls to 16 per cent when the public are asked about visiting venues in October.

MVT, which was founded to help improve, maintain, and organise music venues in the UK, released the survey via the Guardian, after calling on the government to implement a £50m support package to prevent mass closures in July, August and September.

In addition, they are proposing a one-off cut in VAT on ticket sales for the next three years for venues and promoters.

The live music industry in the UK, which generates £5.2bn for the UK economy and a further £2.7bn in export revenues, is facing a substantial loss of infrastructure, with 90 per cent of venues and festivals currently facing permanent closure.

Mark Davyd, chief executive of Music Venue Trust, said: “When we eventually emerge from lockdown, Grassroots Music Venues, the absolute bedrock, the foundations, the cornerstone on which our world beating £5.2 billion per year industry has been built, are going to be essential to live music bouncing back. It is therefore economically short sighted and frankly ridiculous to put a £5 billion a year industry at long term risk for lack of a short term £50 million investment.”

The charitable organisation has raised more than £2m through its #saveourvenues campaign, which has already resulted in 140 grassroots music venues being removed from its ‘critical’ list.

The campaign was launched in March in response to the detrimental effect the pandemic has had on the 670 small grassroots venues.

Davyd continued: “The situation is still dire and relying on donations simply isn’t sustainable as we move into a recovery phase. With that in mind let’s act now and protect what we have, because what we have is incredible and it is ridiculous to put ourselves in the position where we might permanently lose it for less than 1% of the income it generates for us every single year. £50 million in financial support and a temporary tax cut, that’s all we are asking.”