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Music industry facing extraordinary talent drain, union boss says

(Martin Rickett/PA)
(Martin Rickett/PA)

The music industry will experience an “extraordinary talent drain” unless the Government offers its workers more support, the general secretary of the Musicians’ Union has said.

Horace Trubridge told the Economic Affairs Committee that a stimulus package should be introduced to encourage workers to stay in the sector.

He added that 40% of his union’s 30,000 members have not qualified for Government schemes to help workers and the self-employed.

Capital FM Monster Mash Up with Voxi by Vodafone – London
(Matt Crossick/PA)

He said: “Those are the people who are being left out of the equation and will leave the industry, and we will slip back in the world rankings, I’m afraid, unless something is done urgently.”

The situation is “really alarming”, he said, adding that 30% of Musicians’ Union workers said in a survey they are considering leaving the industry.

“This is an extraordinary talent drain if it happens,” he said.

He also told the committee that the Government should design a stimulus package for the sector which would help people get back to work.

Mr Trubridge suggested public funds could be used to pay venues the equivalent amount of money they raise through ticket sales.

This would help make socially-distanced performances more financially viable for venues, he said.

It would also help workers to stay in the industry, he said, adding that those in the music industry do not want to go “cap in hand” to the Government.

Hesaid: “This is a viable industry that the Government is stopping from working and, as such, I think the Government has a responsibility to look after this industry, to look after the people who have made this industry great, the envy of the world.”

He added: “We need a stimulus scheme that will provide work and enable the workforce to get back to work, or they will leave.”

Mr Trubridge said the appeal of live music has not gone away and the “key” question is “will we have the workforce to deliver it”.

“I don’t think the beauty and appeal of live music will ever diminish in the public’s minds,” he said.

“People will spend more money on one ticket to go and see a particular live music event than they would pay for the whole catalogue of recordings of that particular artist.

“They know full well that they are likely to have an experience of a lifetime when they go.

“It is a magical thing and people will always want it.”

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