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Christian Eede
5 July 2024, 11:51

UK music industry reacts to election results: "the real work begins now"

Labour has won a landslide victory over the Conservative party

A stage at glastonbury festival

UK music industry organisations and figures have shared their reactions to the results of this week's UK general election, which saw Keir Starmer's Labour Party win a landslide victory over the Conservatives after 14 years of Tory rule. 

In a statement, the Interim CEO & Chief Policy Officer of the Association of Independent Music (AIM), Gee Davy, said: "Congratulations to the new Labour government on behalf of the UK's globally celebrated independent music sector. We look forward to working alongside all newly elected MPs and the new cabinet, to achieve the goal of making the regions and nations of the UK the best places to grow and scale a music business and build sustainable careers in music.

"Key measures will include finally including music in the creative tax reliefs on par with those in film and gaming to encourage investment in our world-beating UK music scenes, opening up small businesses' opportunities in apprenticeships, and encouraging responsible development in AI which protects and nurtures UK music and musicians."

Michael Kill, the CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), said: "I warmly welcome the new Labour government. Your commitment to our sector, vital to the UK's economy and culture. However, the real work begins now. Our industry faces serious challenges and needs urgent attention to recover from years of neglect through the cost of living crisis and the pandemic.

"Our sector must rebuild trust with the new government. After years of feeling misunderstood and undervalued, we must work towards changing the narrative around the value of the night time economy, secure stronger representation at all levels, and create a more ingrained regulatory system. We must also address tax disparity, reform business rates, protect independent operators and align VAT with European standards.

"The new government has a considerable opportunity ahead with the current majority. There is an opportunity for meaningful and transactional change. We need the new government to prioritise meaningful policy changes, strategic and targeted financial support, and collaborative efforts to shape the future of nightlife. This will ensure a sustainable and thriving future for night time industries."

UK Music Chief Tom Kiehl congratulated Starmer on his victory and echoed other figures on the need for change in order to boost the UK music industry. In a statement, he said: "The incoming Labour government has been elected on a platform to implement a plan for the creative sector as part of its industrial strategy. The potential of the UK music industry to contribute growth must be at the heart of this plan.

"The music industry is facing a number of challenges, but also opportunities. A strong relationship between UK Music and the new government will be essential to navigating what the rest of this decade brings.

"As the collective voice of the music industry, UK Music already has strong links with Sir Keir's top team. Our plan is to continue to build on those relationships and work across the political spectrum, including the many newly elected MPs, to deliver real change and further growth for our world-leading sector."

London club The Cause, meanwhile, will mark the ousting of the Conservatives with a one-hour free bar from 9pm-10pm at tonight's AC x Sports Banger x The Cause: Rishi F*ck Right Off Mega Rave. See details of that below.

The change in government comes amid a turbulent and immensely challenging time for the UK music industry. Earlier this year, Music Venue Trust revealed 2023 was the UK's "worst year for venue closures" with 125 grassroots spaces being lost. Liverpool's Melodic Distraction and Leeds' Sheaf St and Wire are among the grassroots venues to have closed in the UK in 2023.

Meanwhile, in the festival sector, over 50 events scheduled for this summer have been cancelled. Amidst the insurmountable rise in the price of production, and the ongoing cost of living crisis, DJ Mag recently spoke to organisers to ask: what's led to this? And what solutions are being considered that will help us save the sector.