This is quite an eye opener but not a shocking one. Yet again the industry is relying on government to prop it up instead of trying to innovate to move with the times. The article from Complete Music Update states that without government support, whose schemes have apparently so far seen many festival companies “fall through the cracks” with 0% of its members being able to access the UK’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, £900 million in economic value will be wiped from the UK economy.
The trade bodies UK Live Music Group and UK Music are attempting to convince the government to create bespoke measures for the UK music industry as well as a specific music industry task force to help tackle the problems the industry is and will be facing.
AIF’s CEO Paul Reed is still holding out hope that next year’s festival season will “hopefully” bring some relief to the industry. That “hope” relies on not online the easing of lockdown restrictions but festivals able to adapt to social distancing measures while still earning enough money from sales to stay afloat, the talent pool not drying up, the yet-to-be-discovered vaccine for COVID-19, among many other things.
Hope and optimism is great – Dreamscope is all about it. But blind hope can be a dangerous thing and leaving your success in the hands of external bodies like the government can stifle progress.
Instead of looking at COVID-19 (and have we forgotten about Brexit??) as an event that destroys the industry, maybe it’s an opportunity to make it a better one.
The author Elizabeth Gilbert says it poetically when she says that maybe it’s not our lives that are so chaotic “it's just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.”