Government Announces Millions of Pounds to Help UK Festivals and Nightlife

The decision follows a campaign from musicians and industry bodies calling for protection for the country’s nighttime industry.
July 30, 2020, 5:22pm
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Photo: Ruby Lott-Lavigna

The government has revealed that its billion-pound arts funding commitment will cover the UK’s nightlife and events sector.

The announcement follows an industry-wide campaign calling on the government to help save the industry from collapse. The #LetUsDance campaign, launched last week, asked the government to ensure dance music businesses badly affected by the pandemic – such as nightclubs and festivals – were protected by government grants.

The campaign resulted in over 500 letters sent to local MPs and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, asking for more support for an industry on the brink of collapse, while the hashtag #LetUsDance trended on Twitter. Many artists and DJs showed support for the campaign, including Caribou, Charlotte De Witte, Daniel Avery, Eats Everything, Fatboy Slim, Four Tet, Maya Jane Coles, Massive Attack and Thom Yorke. Industry figures including London’s “night czar” Amy Lamé and Sacha Lord, the nightlife advisor for Greater Manchester, also backed the campaign.

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), said in a press release: "We are extremely pleased that the government and DCMS have released the guidance and eligibility criteria for the Cultural Recovery Fund and have included Electronic Music and many other subgenres.”

The “#LetUsDance campaign generated a huge amount of support from the sector,” he continued. “This is a positive step forward, but we must maintain pressure on the government to gain clarity on the roadmap for businesses that are still unable to open, and fight for further support to ensure they survive this crisis.”