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The ISM and the Musicians' Movement are calling for more government support for musicians

Harriet Clifford

Music industry partnership announces new campaign to #MakeMusicWork

1:48, 7th October 2020

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and the Musicians’ Movement have announced the launch of a strategic campaign partnership to financially support musicians and restart live performances during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Both organisations are putting pressure on the government to initiate a new Freelance Performers Support Scheme, which would help musicians return to live performances in a Covid-secure space. Secondly, they are calling for changes to be made to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to provide a tailored safety net for musicians who cannot work while venues remain closed. 

Entitled #MakeMusicWork, the campaign follows yesterday’s Let Music Live protests in London’s Parliament Square and Birmingham’s Centenary Square, which saw hundreds of socially distanced freelance musicians performing part of Holst’s Mars and calling on the government for support. 

The partnership between the ISM and the Musicians’ Movement began with a joint letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak following his announcement of the Winter Economy Plan in September. They hope that more organisations will align themselves with the partnership. 

Chief executive of the ISM Deborah Annetts said, ‘Thousands of self-employed musicians are facing desperate financial hardship, having not been able to work since March. Now is the time for the entire music community together to unite around clear, effective and realistic policy recommendations for government. 

‘The UK music industry is known for its world-leading talent which makes a huge contribution of over £5bn annually to our economy, so it is vital that the needs of musicians are properly communicated to the government.’

A representative from the Musicians’ Movement commented: ‘As an organisation run by musicians, for musicians we receive daily communications from our supporters who want nothing more than to get back to work and contribute to their communities. The UK’s rich cultural heritage, built up over generations, is being thrown away and additional investment at this crucial time is needed to avoid the imminent collapse of our industry.’

The letter to the Chancellor can be found here

More information about the Freelance Performers Support Scheme can be found here

More information about improving the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme can be found here.  



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