Iconic Preston venue The Ferret featured on BBC Breakfast today, in support of a national campaign to save the live music industry.Advertisement
Promoter Dan Morris and manager Ian Cauwood both appeared on the show to talk about the impact of coronavirus on music venues and the “Let The Music Play” campaign.
The campaign, which was launched by UK Music today, is asking the Government to help the music industry survive by introducing support measures including a £50 million cash injection.
According to Let The Music Play campaigners, the core live music industry generates £1.1 billion to the economy and impacts other parts of the economy including tourism to the tune of £4.5 billion. They say 90 per cent of grassroots music venues are under threat of closure, with thousands of jobs at risk.
The campaign has been backed by 1,500 artists including Annie Lennox, Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran.
The Breakfast programme played footage of Sheeran’s performance at The Ferret ten years ago, as presenter Naga Munchetty asked Dan how the venue had been affected.
Dan said: “Covid has had a major impact, with all gig bookings for 2020 either cancelled or rescheduled. It has had a detrimental impact at grassroots level and on the industry as a whole.
“If we can see this through for the next couple of months then we will come back stronger in 2021. The diary is already looking full, so 2021 should be a bumper year if we can just hold on.”
Read more: The Ferret launches funding campaign to escape permanent closure
Naga then asked Dan if it would be practical for venues like The Ferret to reopen while social distancing measures are still in place.
Dan said: “We’ve had forms to fill in, calculations to be done, venue diagrams to analyse. After all this, the vast majority of venues won’t be able to operate as live music venues when taking into account physical distancing.
“That’s why swift, decisive action and a clear financial support package is needed from the Government.”
In a pre-recorded segment, manager Ian was shown at The Ferret talking about the importance of grassroots venues.
He said: “Up-and-coming bands get a chance to build their stagecraft and quite often move on to bigger things.”
Gesturing to his surroundings, Ian continued: “There really wouldn’t be room with one metre spacing for many more than 12 audience members. With the guidance for three metres space from the stage, that would put the audience at the back of the room.”
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You can watch Ian and Dan on Breakfast on BBC iPlayer from 2h 48m.
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