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Don’t take away our music (industry)

Luis Santos May 6, 2020
Don’t take away our music (industry)

The UK’s construction sector has plunged to its lowest point since April 1997, registering falls in all three main segments – housebuilding, commercial activity and civil engineering.

Things couldn’t be much grimmer in the music industry too, according to Tom Skinner, of NME. Almost half of the UK’s commercial recording studios are on the verge of permanent closure.

Even London’s iconic Dean Street Studios is in danger unless the government offers financial support. The Soho venue was founded by David Bowie’s long-time producer, Tony Visconti, and dates to 1974.

David Bowie recorded at the under-threat Dean Street Studios. Image by pascal OHLMANN from Pixabay

As well as Bowie, Visconti’s iconic Soho building has hosted a myriad of talent over the years including The Smiths and Adele. However, Skinner says the coronavirus crisis is endangering the UK’s music industry.

Bottom of the food chain

Jasmin Lee, managing director of Dean Street Studios, told the NME: “Studios seem to be bottom of the food chain in the music industry, always being beaten down on rates.

“For those of us who are independent, it’s always hand to mouth on the finances. Many of us have put our life savings into starting studios and keeping our doors open.”

New research by the Music Producers Guild (MPG) reveals almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of studios might only remain open for another three months as things stand. Their fate rests in the hands of landlords and councils as studio owners seek debt relief and discounted rates.

“The UK has some of the finest recording studios in the world

Music Producers Guild executive director Olga FitzRoy

Calling on the UK government to extend its business rates relief package, MPG executive director Olga Fitzroy said: “The UK has some of the finest recording studios in the world but, unless the government steps in with immediate support, half of those studios won’t be around when things get back to normal. The knock-on effect on the wider industry will be disastrous.”

Blur

Depeche Mode and Blur producer Ben Hillier is just one of the freelance producers backing the MPG’s campaign to save the UK’s music industry.

You can read the full NME article here but personally I find it painful to see how dreadfully things are panning out.

The UK has produced some of the best talent seen and heard in the music world. All those music waves that have shaped generations and made us who we are.

Jimi Hendrix made his name by moving to the UK in the Sixties. Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

With the MPG campaigning for improvements to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, it would be absurd of me not to mention a conclusion I came to a month ago when writing The Focus article A Case Of Simple Arithmetic, which called for debt relief on a global scale.

I can’t get my head around the fact money is debt, which we the taxpayers will pay to save not only the music industry but all the industries that allow a nation to survive.

Are we willing to let all our industries fall because of that artificial thing we call money? Two simple words keep pounding in my head – debt or pardon?

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Luis has been collaborating as a content writer since 2017 with main focus on Politics and Economy, and is a self published fiction writer. A Sporting Lisbon fan, Old Trafford has played an important place in his heart over the years, as he believes a Man United line-up starring Giggs and Figo is still possible.