A new campaign led by the combined force of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and The Musicians Movement is hoping to secure a support package to ensure musicians can start earning again. Their collaboration, #MakeMusicWork, responds to the trend for greater coordination between music industry organisations and is designed to increase the impact of the music community’s lobbying of the UK government and across the devolved nations.
They are proposing a new Freelance Performers Support Scheme to help musicians earn money from live performances in Covid-secure spaces, and are continuing to call for changes to the Self- Employment Income Support Scheme to provide a safety net for musicians who cannot work whilst venues remain closed.
The proposal for the Support Scheme is to guarantee performers a minimum fee, even if Covid restrictions change, to give performers some financial security and enable venues and promoters the opportunity to programme in advance without financial insecurity. The scheme put forward is “flexible and scalable in relation to government guidelines” and campaign organisers believe it is “transferable to other arts sectors, with the potential for the sector to unite to develop a one-fund, works for all, arts-sector initiative”.
The Incorporated Society of Musicians’ Chief Executive, Deborah Annetts, said: Now is the time for the entire music community together to unite around clear, effective and realistic policy recommendations for government. Our hope is that more organisations will support our calls for a new Freelance Performers Support Scheme and improving the Self- Employment Income Support Scheme… it is vital that the needs of musicians are properly communicated to the government. Whichever organisation they belong to, musicians are dynamic entrepreneurs who will be back on their feet as soon as the sector can reopen and new support measures need only last until the necessary safety precautions are eased.”