Skip to main content

Recording studios and music video productions can continue operating during lockdown, government confirms

Live-streamed gigs may also go ahead, though without an audience

Recording studios and music video productions can continue operating during lockdown, the government has confirmed.

Following confusion amid the UK's new national coronavirus lockdown, which came into force at midnight last night, November 5th, the government's department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has shared new guidance and answered key questions surrounding events.

In a series of tweets posted earlier this week, the UK's Secretary of State for the DCMS, Oliver Dowden, confirmed that arts venues were places of work, and would remain open during the lockdown. He also confirmed said that this would include rehearsing and performance, although audiences would not be permitted. This means that live-streamed events would also be able to take place under the new rules.

Speaking about the announcement via NME, UK Music chief executive, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, said: “This is extremely welcome news and an important vote of confidence by the government in the UK music industry and our world-leading recording studios. I am delighted that ministers have recognised the huge amount of work that has gone into stringent measures to ensure that our studios are Covid-safe environments where work can and should continue. 

“Studios are a key part of the ecosystem of the UK music industry that contributes £5.2 billion a year to the economy and employs 190,000 people. We are determined to continue to work with the government to keep as much of the music industry open as possible as we strive to get the whole industry back on its feet.”

Following the initial lockdown announcement from the prime minister in October, the Music Producers Guild said that "it was clear that work in recording studios and production rooms that cannot be done from home can continue under our government-approved COVID-secure guidance."

Earlier this week, the UK government announced that it would increase self-employment grants from 40% to 80% of their profits to reflect the recent extension of the furlough scheme. The news comes after a reduction in self-employment grants to just 20% was announced back in September, which the government has now temporarily backtracked on. Chancellor Rishi Sunak had previously increased the grant from 20% to 40% on 22nd October. It means that payments of the self-employment grant covering November-January will be at 55% of of self-employed workers’ average monthly earnings, up to a maximum of £5,160.