New UK Music report reveals one in three music jobs were lost during the pandemic

by Ricardo Johnson

A new report by UK Music has revealed that one in three music industry jobs have been lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The trade body, which represents the collective voice of the UK music industry, has laid out the stark findings in their newly published annual report, This Is Music 2021 .

According to the report, 69,000 jobs in the UK music industry have been lost during the pandemic, with employment figures plunging by 35 per cent in 2020.

Other findings include how the UK music industry’s economic contribution fell by a record 46 per cent (from £5.8bn to £3.1bn) in 2020, while music exports suffered a drop of 23 per cent last year (from £2.9 billion in 2019 to £2.3 billion).

Live music revenues in the UK collapsed by around 90 per cent in 2020, with the coronavirus-enforced shutdown of live music forcing many musicians and people working in both venues and studios to be without work.

The report also notes how many self-employed workers in the music industry were unable to access support from the UK government as “many were not eligible”.

“This has resulted in thousands of music creators, crew and others leaving the industry for other sectors,” the report says. “Many are still committed to a career in music, but necessity has meant finding alternative sources of income.”

roundhouse Jax Jones performs on stage at The Roundhouse on April 6, 2019 in London (Picture: Getty)

UK Music’s Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said This Is Music 2021 provided clear evidence that swift government action is required to help the music industry rebuild and return to growth post-pandemic.

UK Music have also identified five key areas where they believe government action could help: provide tax incentives for the music industry to stimulate growth and jobs, take urgent action to remove the barriers to touring the EU, implement a permanent reduction on the VAT rate on live music event tickets, provide more funding and support for music exports, and boost funding for music education and for the self-employed.

“The past 18 months have been exceptionally challenging for the UK music industry, with billions wiped off the value of the sector – but we are determined to look to the future and focus on recovery,” Njoku-Goodwin said.

“Music matters to us all. And in a year when we’ve seen just how important music is to all our lives, it’s more important than ever that we take the necessary steps to protect, strengthen and grow the industry.”

In an introduction to This Is Music 2021, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said that the music industry has “shown great strength, patience and resilience during these hard times, pulling together to help the whole country get through the COVID-19 crisis”.

“Until now, our focus has been rescue and reopening. Now the priority is to ensure a strong recovery. The UK music industry is one of our country’s great national assets, and I give my commitment that the government will continue to back it every step of the way.”

Meet ReBuild Music winner The Close Encounter Club, the venue from space

0 seconds of 2 minutes, 19 seconds Volume 0%

A recent report from the Night Time Industries Association, meanwhile, found that nearly 90,000 jobs have been lost in the UK’s nightlife sector due to the pandemic.