British organisation LIVE, which describes itself as the collective voice of the live music and entertainment industry, has found that the perfect mixture of COVID-19 and Brexit has already resulted in a quarter of live music shows being cancelled in the first quarter of 2022.
Some 26% of UK shows have already been cancelled and 44% of international shows have also been postponed, resulting in a drop in revenue across the global live entertainment industry.
The snap survey also found that most of the cancellations are due to a lack of public confidence and a fear of events being cancelled due to further restrictions.
Around 90% of the industry believe that Brexit will provide a further negative impact once all markets fully re-open.
LIVE chief executive Greg Parmley said: “Whilst it is great news that restrictions on live music venues will come to an end in much of the UK at the end of January, the live music industry is still facing serious challenges. The impact of the past two years has been catastrophic for the venues, artists, freelancers, and technical stage that power our £4.5bn ($6bn/€5.4bn) industry.”
Over the coming months, the industry has to face further challenges in the UK, including the impending VAT tax hike at the end of March.
LIVE and fellow industry organisations such as UK Music have called for a stop to the VAT hike, which will see the UK Government raise the VAT from 12.5% on tickets. It has been reduced since July 2020 to help the sector continue its recovery following the pandemic.
The emergence of the Omicron variant put further strain on the live music industry over the Christmas and New Year period, which resulted in last-minute cancellations and delays to shows.
Parmley added: “It will take a long time for us to recover from the worst period in history of the industry and the Government needs to fully understand the challenges we face. Whilst the UK is re-opening, many artists need international markets to fully re-open before touring can be financially viable.