Leading figures from the UK’s dance music scene have joined a new campaign, #LetUsDance, to urge the government to support the industry through the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, the UK government announced an unprecedented £1.57 billion in grants to support the arts sector, though the funding doesn’t yet appear to include nightclubs, dance music events and festivals.
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The #LetUsDance campaign has been signed by Thom Yorke, Fatboy Slim, Caribou, Massive Attack, Four Tet, Daniel Avery and many more, who are urging the government to recognise the UK’s dance music industry in the same way as the live music and performing arts sectors, and give the industry the funding to keep going through the coronavirus pandemic.
The new campaign follows the wider music industry launching the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign, which saw Radiohead, The Cure, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Johnny Marr, Dizzee Rascal, Primal Scream, Paul McCartney, Dua Lipa, The Rolling Stones and Coldplay among the huge list of artists who signed an open letter to the government, demanding immediate action to prevent “catastrophic damage” to the music industry in the wake of COVID-19.
Speaking of the campaign, Greg Marshall of the Association For Electronic Music (AFEM) said: “Nightclubs and festivals are the beating heart of the UK dance scene; providing collective joy to millions of fans each year, providing employment and incomes for an interdependent network of hundreds of thousands of people, while contributing hundreds of millions to the economy.
“We call on the government to recognise this sector as a significant part of the nation’s art and culture, and ensure fair & equal access to the support offered to the wider live music sector.”
Bristol dance music legend Roni Size, who also joined the campaign today (July 23), added: “We have to make sure that the UK Government includes our nightclub venues, dance festivals (and all the businesses & artists involved) in its financial support plans.
“Clubs are being forgotten and the discussion on festivals remains unclear. WE NEED YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT! I want to see you back on the dance floor soon.”
Despite the government’s £1.5 billion cash injection, music industry figures warned recently that artists, musicians and crew remain in crisis, and may not be supported by the new government cash.
“As many as 38% of artists have fallen through the gaps between income support schemes and have received nothing for almost four months. Those that have had support will soon see that lifeline come to an end,” said David Martin, General Manager of the Featured Artists Coalition – a nonprofit organisation who campaign and lobby for artists and musicians.