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57% of people say music helped them cope through lockdown, study finds

While almost half are now worried about the future of their local venues 

57% of people say music helped them cope through lockdown, a new study by UK Music has found, with 42% listening to more during the crisis than they previously did. 

The survey is the largest of its kind since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which decimated the live music scene across most of the planet in 2020, with many parts of the world, including large swathes of Europe, still under restrictions preventing venues and events from operating normally. 

The study also found that around 1million UK adults had taken up a musical instrument over the last 16 months of lockdowns, while 71% believe music makes them more productive at work or studies. 59% of respondents say tunes aid health and emotional wellbeing, with 31% turning to sounds to ease anxiety and 56% to improve their mood. 

Participants were also asked about the live scene. 43% of the public is interested in attending a concert, festival, or another form of gig this year despite COVID-19. Two-thirds said they planned on being at more events, or the same number, compared with pre-pandemic. Among 18 to 24-year-olds, 38% consider a music festival or performance to be one of the main things they are looking forward to as restrictions ease. 

Almost half of those who answered the survey — 45% — are now worried about their local music venues as a result of the pandemic. 

"These results demonstrate just how important music is to our nation and the critical role it has played over the course of this pandemic," said UK Music Chief Executive, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin. "Combined with the huge economic contribution the music industry made pre-Covid-19, this is further evidence that the UK music industry is a key national asset that should be protected and supported by government.

"People are clearly missing going to festivals, gigs, and concerts and eagerly awaiting the return of live music without social distancing. While the announcement of an end to restrictions from July 19 was very welcome, there remains one crucial last piece to the puzzle: action on insurance," he added. "Suggestions that restrictions may be reintroduced later this year creates huge risk for event organisers and the inability to obtain commercial insurance means many live events have already been called off this year. Many more are still at risk of cancellation, so we need the government to introduce an insurance scheme that enables organisers to plan events with confidence."