Alice here, with the worst kept secret; the UK music industry is being confronted with some challenges.
Most recently, we’ve been faced with the sad news that the Arts Council have withdrawn funding for the Music Venue Trust’s mission to preserve, improve and protect grassroot venues.
Beverley Whitrick, MVT strategic director, says that the charity “believed that they were on a forward moving journey with the Arts Council” and they are now coming to terms with the fact that “three years of support have suddenly been withdrawn”. In an interview with The Guardian, she said she could “not even begin to guess” how many venues would close as a result of the lost funding.
At the MIA we have continually supported The Music Venue Trust to help protect these wonderful, critical venues. We are lucky enough to have world class music venues across the UK that help grow and nurture our amazing talent – for the cultural and music industries, the economy and local communities, these venues are vital. (As if we need to tell you!)
Another ongoing issue is the declining provision of music in schools. According to recent research by the University of Sussex, a fifth of state schools no longer offer GCSE Music. Music suffered a severe decline in uptake (-7.7% on 2016) when students picked their GCSE options this year, along with Performing/Expressive Arts (-17%), Media/Film/TV Studies (-12%) and Design and Technology (-11%). The MIA continues to support the campaign fighting the English Baccalaureate; ‘Bacc for the Future’.
Music for All, our industry charity, is doing all it can to support schools where music is at risk. We were really concerned when we recently heard that the Lordswood Girls’ School and Sixth Form Centre no longer had the budget to support the guitar teaching for the girls. Working with Sound Technology, we were able to make a charitable donation of 19 acoustic guitars (stock with flaws that could not be sold in shops). It was really disheartening to hear that had it not been for that support, the girls would not have been able to continue their musical journeys through the school. (Full story and pictures here)
So, with lack of support and guidance at school and less venues to establish themselves, are our up and coming musicians most important resources being eradicated?
These events are not so dangerous in isolation, but could the combination present a disastrous outcome… Is our industry at risk?
Please do get in touch with Music for All if we can work with you to support a needy school in your area:
Also, if you haven’t already, check out The Music Venue Trust and ISM’s ‘Bacc for the Future’ campaign here: