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More than a third of UK music industry workers lost jobs in 2020

UK music

More than a third of UK music industry workers lost jobs in 2020

More than a third of UK music industry workers lost their jobs last year – 69,000 in total – as venues closed, festivals were scrapped, tours ground to a halt and the pandemic wiped billions off the value of the sector.

UK Music, the umbrella organisation representing the commercial music industry from artists and record labels to the live music sector, said the value of the industry almost halved last year due to the financially crippling impact of the Covid crisis.

The music industry’s contribution to the wider UK economy, ranging from music sales and licensing to stadium tours, gigs in grassroots venues and merchandise, plummeted from a record £5.8bn in 2019 to £3.1bn last year.

With hundreds of festivals and live music events cancelled, and no insurance scheme in place to enable them to reschedule, there was a wave of job losses. As three-quarters of music industry workers were self-employed, many fell between the cracks of eligibility for government support schemes, resulting in tens of thousands of workers having to seek new occupations to survive the pandemic.

UK Music’s annual report, This is Music 2021, estimates that employment in the sector plunged by 35% from an all-time high of 197,000 in 2019 to 128,000 last year.

“The past 18 months have been exceptionally challenging for the UK music industry, with billions wiped off the value of the sector, but we are determined to look to the future and focus on recovery,” said Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of UK Music.

The hardest-hit sector was the UK live music scene which saw revenues collapse by about 90% to just a few hundred million pounds, while the value of British music exported overseas, such as through international touring, slumped 23% to £2.3bn.

Horace Trubridge, general secretary of Musicians’ Union, said: “The total loss of live work for over a year and the fact that the financial help offered by the government left so many out in the cold, has resulted in a huge loss of jobs and talent.

“With the live industry now having to deal with the appalling impact of Brexit on artist’s mobility, now is the time for this government to step in and provide realistic and effective support for an industry that was once the envy of the world and is now struggling to survive.”

Tom Watson, chair of UK Music, and former shadow culture secretary, said “more needs to be done to remove the barriers to touring in the EU, boost UK musical exports and deliver more funding for music in education”, adding that it was “critical” that the music industry receive the support it needs from the government to fully recover “and protect a talent pipeline that is the envy of the world”.

Rebecca Lucy Taylor, better known by her stage name Self Esteem, said: “Without these changes, and these changes made soon, the UK music industry will be even further an arena for the privileged than it already is.

“Art made by those who do not need to earn a living. A very niche perspective, a deeply arid sonic and lyrical landscape. There’s a place for everyone’s voice, but to take away the ability to earn from sales, streams and then to take away the ability to tour? It means nobody without a financially comfortable situation can survive.

The UK music industry has not been helped by lengthy delays to the launch of a government-backed Covid cancellation insurance scheme, which was finally unveiled in August, more than a year after the film and TV production industry gained access to a similar scheme. It came too late for many events and festivals which had to cancel for a second summer running.

“We have listened carefully to UK Music’s arguments about a market failure regarding events insurance,” said Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary. “The UK music industry is one of our country’s great national assets, and I give my commitment that the government will continue to back it every step of the way.”

Njoku-Goodwin called for measures including tax incentives, scrapping restrictions on transport and work permits affecting the ability for musicians to tour in some European Union states and a permanent reduction in VAT on live music event tickets.

The annual report does not break out figures on the one bright spot for the industry during the pandemic – the streaming boom.

In the UK, music streaming surged by 22% last year to a record 139.3bn streams as global music sales grew for a sixth consecutive year to $21.6bn, with subscriptions to streaming services soaring as fans went digital to alleviate lockdown boredom.

The world’s biggest streaming platform, Spotify, added a record 31 million new paying subscribers last year. Subscriber numbers for Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music are expected to total 550m by the end of this year – up from 86m in 2015.

Entertainment

Peter Obi condoles with late actor Junior Pope’s family

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the last election, Peter Obi, has paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Nollywood actor, Junior Pope.

The former Anambra State governor also signed the condolence register.

Nollywood actor and former spokesperson of the Labour Party presidential campaign council, Kenneth Okonkwo, shared pictures and videos from the visit on his Instagram page ON Saturday afternoon.

He captioned the pictures and videos: ” HE Peter Obi arrived at the residence of John Paul Odonwodo Junior Pope, to pay his condolences to his family over the sad, and untimely departure of their child, brother, husband and father. He consoled his mother, Mrs Maria Odonwodo, the widow, Jennifer, and his children.”

DAILY POST recalls that Junior Pope died on April 10, 2024, alongside three others after their boat capsized on the Anam River in Anambra State while returning from a film location.

He was laid to rest at his hometown, Ukehe in Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu State, on Friday

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Entertainment

I am not ready to have kids- Burna boy

Grammy-winning Nigerian singer, Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, has opened up about why he is not ready to be a father yet.

The ‘City Boys’ crooner said he is not ready to have kids yet because he can’t give them the attention they deserve.

The entertainer stated this while responding to a question raised by a fan during a recent Instagram live session with his fans.

He explained that he would have children when he was settled or married.

“Why haven’t I had kids yet? Bro, because I don’t want to have kids yet,” Burna boy said.

“Have you seen my mum the way she loves me? Have you seen my dad the way he loves me?I know I can’t give that to anyone right now with the life I’m living. So until I’m settled and I can be there for my children everyday, I’m not having no kid.

I feel like my kids deserved better than I got. And I got both my mum and dad so you understand?”

On the allegations that he is impotent, Burna Boy said, “When I see the bants and the things people say [about me not being able to have kids], I said this is unimportant. Let’s assume that it is true that I couldn’t even have kids, you know that there’s something called IVF? But that is not even true.”

Burna Boy started to gain fame after releasing ‘Like to Party’, the lead single from his debut album ‘L.I.F.E’ (2013).

In 2021, the singer set a record in Nigeria after his fifth album ‘Twice As Tall (2020)’ won the ‘Best World Music Album’ category at the Grammys.

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Entertainment

Cause of Mohbad’s death cannot be ascertained’ – Pathologist

The pathologist, who conducted an autopsy on the body of late singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba, AKA Mohbad, has said that the cause of death couldn’t be ascertained.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wahab Shittu, told newsmen in Lagos State on Wednesday that the pathologist in charge told the coroner that the deceased’s body had decomposed by the time the test was conducted.

Shittu said, “According to him (pathologist), the cause of death cannot be determined because, by the time they conducted the test, the body had decomposed and that it is not possible for them to determine the cause of death

“So, in summary, he is saying the cause of death cannot be ascertained. When you say the cause of death cannot be ascertained, it means it is suspicious, it is not clear. No particular reason.”

Shittu added that the pathologist said Mohbad may have died due to a reaction to certain drugs administered to him before he died.

“He also went further to say that it may be attributed to reaction to certain drugs administered on him before he died. Again, he then qualified that to say he does not know whether it is those drugs that actually led to his death,” he said.

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