Amy Macdonald urges Government aid for live music sector ahead of charity gig
People working in the live music sector are the “backbone” of the industry and deserve better financial support, Amy Macdonald has said.
The Scottish singer-songwriter, 33, warned that if they did not receive further Government help, music venues could struggle to reopen in 2021 due to a lack of skilled staff.
Macdonald, best known for songs including This Is The Life and Mr Rock & Roll, is playing a live streamed gig on Sunday to raise money for the We Make Events campaign, which supports crew who work behind the scenes.
She will perform an acoustic set backed by her band at The Mildmay Club in Stoke Newington, London, before taking questions from a guest presenter and fans.
Macdonald, who recently released her fifth album The Human Demands, told the PA news agency: “The live part of the industry to me is the most important. That’s really what music is and that’s the part that is struggling.
“It’s good that venues are finally starting to get support. But if the venues have nobody to put the gigs on then there is no point in having venues as they will just be empty.
“I am trying to be as positive as I can and hopeful that at some point next year we can get back to it. The industry has faced a lot of challenges in recent years – it was illegal downloads at one point, it was streaming coming in and albums not selling any more.
“The industry has always bounced back but this just seems like such a massive challenge.
“There are so many industries that are facing huge challenges right now. I am not for a second claiming there aren’t.
“But the industry I know and the industry in which I work is the only one I can comment on.
“I’m hoping that it can be resilient and we can bounce back, but without all these people there to be the backbone, which they are, then I am not sure how it will bounce back.”
The Government is distributing a £1.57 billion funding package to the arts, including at least £97 million for Scotland, as well as further measures.
Macdonald said friends within the music industry were working at Covid-19 testing centres, supermarkets and Argos after finding themselves without work since the start of lockdown in March.
Speaking about the suggestion live music jobs would not be viable in the future, she said: “Is that where we really are where we are now saying that there will never be music, there will never be theatre and that the arts are just going to disappear? That to me just feels a bit crazy.”
Macdonald said it required “years of hard work and dedication” to thrive in the live sector.
She said: “It’s doing everything you can to further yourself because it’s hard. It can be hard to get started in it. For me it has been horrible to watch and see people I know struggling.”
The We Make Events campaign provides support for live music crew and other industry staff who are struggling due to loss of work during the pandemic.
Macdonald recently announced a 2021 European tour through April and May, ending with a date at the Roundhouse in Camden, London.
An Evening With Amy Macdonald begins at 7pm on Sunday November 1.
Tickets are priced at £15 and are available at shops.ticketmasterpartners.com/amy-macdonald-live-stream.