#DontStopTheMusic campaign say Scotland’s music ban is threatening venues

Scotland is the only country to have introduced a ban on background music in venues during the coronavirus pandemic

The organisers of the new #DontStopTheMusic campaign say that Scotland’s recent ban on background music in venues is punishing the already struggling events industry.

Scotland is the only country in the world to have implemented a ban on background music and sound from TVs being played in events and hospitality venues as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The rule is in place so people do not have to lean in to be heard over the music, therefore possibly spreading transmission of the virus.


The Night-Time Industries Association Scotland (NTIAS), who represent the hospitality and events sector in the country, have launched a new campaign in a bid to reverse the ban, arguing that people will still lean in to be heard in now-quiet venues so as not to be heard by other people.

The organisers of the #DontStopTheMusic campaign say that the ban is ruining the atmosphere in Scotland’s pubs, bars and venues and โ€œcompounding an already pressurised environmentโ€ for the hospitality and events trade.

People are being encouraged to share their favourite songs on social media to show support for the campaign.

Michael Grieve, chair of the NTIAS, said that music is โ€œcentral to creating a welcoming environment for customers in already struggling venues right across Scotland and is also vital to mental health and wellbeing for staff and customers alikeโ€.

โ€œThe total ban on background music is having a severe effect on many hospitality businesses leading to completely sterile environments, which some have likened to visiting a library.”


He added: โ€œIt seems completely disproportionate relative to other settings and, whilst our industry is totally committed to the serious public health imperatives which the Scottish Government is focused on, our already damaged sector is in serious danger of being permanently wiped out unless this ban is removed.โ€

The boss of Glasgow venue SWG3, Andrew Fleming Brown, said the ban on background music is โ€œthe kiss of death to ambience within the hospitality sectorโ€.

โ€œThere has not been any scientific evidence presented to support the ban and, in fact, the only evidence indicates it has the reverse effect,โ€ Brown argued.

Last month, the owner of Edinburgh venue Sneaky Peteโ€™s criticised the Scottish Government for their “misguided” ban on background music.