Death Of Culture Looms In Wake Of Covid-19 Crisis
Words & Header Image by Kieran Webber
Industry leaders have warned a committee of MP’s that without support 70% of theatres and a majority of music venues across the UK will face permanent closure.
The entertainment and music industry arguably took the first and ultimately hardest blow during the crisis. With current guidelines it is impossible to imagine going to a concert anytime soon. Now, it is clearer than ever that it will be the last industry to open.
Recently General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union Horace Trubridge and chief executive of UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre Julian Bird described grim picture of the future.
Speaking at a virtual session of the House of Commons culture select committee of MPs looking at the impact of Covid-19 on the creative industries Trubridge explained:
“We never ever imagined that something like this, so catastrophic could come along that would kill live music for a period of time.”
“A lot of music venues are in city centres in sort of prime real estate. If they can’t continue to make the money that keeps the doors open then I think their landlords will be thinking about doing something else with the properties. We could very easily lose half the music venues we have in the UK during this crisis if there isn’t more permanent support for them.”
Bird also added that “Our latest survey told us 70% of theatres or production companies will run out of cash, go out of business, by the end of this year. Unless there is a change in some of the government support you will see more and more theatres like Birmingham Hippodrome make difficult decisions about their workforce in order to preserve themselves.”
Both of them appealed to the UK government for additional support for the creative industries, similar to Germany’s €1bn (£890 million) cultural fund.
It seems that if the government doesn’t step in not only will we lose our cultural centres across the country but there will be a fallout of employment that will be catastrophic. Not to mention the extreme likley hood that our venues and theatres will be replaced by yet more fancy flats that are crudely unaffordable.
Quotes and Information taken from The Guardian.