Music industry bodies call on new government to protect music creators

Further to the BMI’s reaction to the election result today (Friday), the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), AIM and UK Music have responded to the Conservative’s landslide victory.

The ISM, the UK’s professional body for musicians, has reinforced its Manifesto for Musicians urging the incoming government to support future music talent though education and ensuring musicians’ successful working life post-Brexit.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive, ISM, says: ‘Irrespective of the results of today’s General Election, the priorities outlined in the ISM’s Manifesto for Musicians remain the same.

‘Among other priorities, including implementing an education policy which guarantees the creation of future musical talent, an all-encompassing deal which will protect every aspect of the musician’s working life post-Brexit must be put in place. This includes everything from a two-year, multi-entry visa to ensuring that musicians can take their instruments easily across the channel to work in the EU.

‘As only reported this month, the music industry is continuing to grow and is now worth £5.2bn. We urge the incoming government to listen to the music sector and ensure the future of prosperous industry is protected.’

Furthermore, while the ISM-founded Bacc for the Future campaign successfully fought against the original arts-excluding EBacc in 2013, since 2015, it has been fighting against the new EBacc with the aim of saving creative subjects in secondary schools across England.

Bacc for Future maintains that the EBacc excludes creative subjects as it does not measure achievement in creative, artistic and technical subjects such as Music, Drama and Design and Technology which means schools are less likely to offer creative, artistic and technical GCSEs.

It has responded to the election result with a fresh call on government to scrap the policy.

Commenting in her role as founder of the Bacc for the Future Annetts comments: ‘The EBacc is undermining creative subjects in our secondary schools, further demonstrated by the wealth of new evidence published in the last month, including the CBI’s report ‘Centre Stage’ and the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education’s self-titled report. Both reports outlined in scrupulous detail the decline of creative education in schools and called for the EBacc to be reformed to include a sixth pillar.

‘Creative subjects are central to our cultural life, a key driver of economic growth, and give our children the tools to navigate a fast-changing digital world but our current education system is failing to prepare for the future. The incoming Government must review the EBacc – a failing policy – and reform or scrap it altogether.’

Meanwhile, both AIM and UK Music reinforced the need for government to secure a trade deal with the EU that is beneficial to music creators post-Brexit.

Paul Pacifico, chief executive, AIM, says: ‘We know from this result that the process towards Brexit will now accelerate. It is AIM’s priority to ensure our members are as prepared as possible. The unfortunate truth is that the grassroots SMEs and entrepreneurs of our economy face the greatest impact on their businesses, so we call on this new government to give our members the support they need to ensure we avoid a Brexit that just suits big business.

‘With a strong majority and the opportunity for a fresh start, we look forward to engaging with the new government across our key issues for creative entrepreneurs in music including copyright and support mechanisms for small business in our sector which is so important to the UK both in terms of commerce and culture.’

Michael Dugher, chief executive, UK Music, comments: ‘Congratulations to the newly elected Government. Hopefully this will now deliver the stability we need to get things done, including a new and comprehensive strategy to support music.

‘It is vital that the Prime Minister makes securing a trade deal with the EU a top priority. That deal needs to ensure that artists, creators and everyone involved with the UK music industry can move around the EU to do their jobs. It must also make sure that we have a legal framework to make the UK the world’s best place to make content. Copyright should be protected and enhanced in any new trade deals.

‘There now needs to be a laser-like focus from the new Government on boosting music in education to ensure we can produce creators and stars across every sector of the music business to nurture the talent pipeline on which our industry relies. The Conservative manifesto commitment to introduce an “arts premium” at secondary schools is a welcome step.

‘Ministers also need to make good on their pledge to help protect small music venues by delivering on their pre-election promises to cut the soaring business rates bills faced by so many venues.

‘We look forward to the speedy appointment of a new Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. We desperately need some continuity in that post and UK Music stand ready to work with them to ensure our world-leading music industry goes from strength to strength.’

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