UK Music welcomes ‘landmark’ DCMS Committee report

UK Music boss Michael Dugher has described the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee’s Live Music Report as a ‘wake-up call’ towards safeguarding the live music industry.

The DCMS Select Committee report fully backs UK Music’s call for a review of business rates in order to help grassroots music venues.

Additionally, the report highlights concerns about discrimination hindering the success of urban music, and suggests support for setting up a network of Music Boards, a taskforce and new investment to nurture talent.

The report also includes a warning to the public to avoid buying or selling tickets through the secondary ticketing site Viagogo.

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) is currently preparing legal action against Viagogo, arguing the company is still not compliant with a court order issued in November 2018.

Michael Dugher, chief executive officer, UK Music, says: ‘This is a landmark report into live music by Damian Collins and members of the DCMS Select Committee. They have really listened to the live music industry, which contributes around £1bn a year to the UK economy, and their report is a real wake-up call for everyone who wants to safeguard live music.

‘It’s great that cross-party MPs have recognised the warnings that we at UK Music have issued over the impact of soaring business rates’ bills on venues. This Committee has now joined MPs from all parties who have called on the Chancellor to end the present system which discriminates against music venues, including by not allowing them to get the the same rates rebate as pubs and clubs. It is time the Government listened and threw a lifeline to venues who are struggling to survive.

‘Viagogo has been ripping off music fans for far too long and we are delighted this report recognises that. It’s high time Viagogo became Via-NoNo when it comes to ticket sales. But Google is complicit in this because it effectively facilitates rip-off merchants like Viagogo by ranking them at the top when people search for tickets online. Google must also take responsibility to make sure fans get a fair deal.’

FanFair Alliance, the campaign against industrial-scale online ticket touting, also issued a statement, commenting : ‘FanFair Alliance welcomes all aspects of the Committee’s wide-reaching report, and especially their condemnation of Viagogo. What we now need is action.’