Live music

Live music is taking a hammering at the moment. It seems that the somewhat spurious and fast changing rules regarding preventive measures to combat Covid are not all that favourable. Of course, one reads and hears about a determined few who are showing 'defiance' in the face of things: by organising live music in their venues whilst following the guidelines; thus significantly affecting the audience sizes and presumably their financial return. Is it viable? Hmm. The rest of us look on like Prisoners of War in a concentration camp, witnessing the foolish or the desparate occasionally make a run for the gates...only to be caught on the barbed wire and shot by the sentry guards. As the search lamp begins to fade once more, we walk back to our huts with hopes that are dashed once again and our world view confirmed...

'This' could be the end of live music as we know it in the UK. But then again, 'this' could be a sign of things to come: a shift 'engineered' off the back of a virus. Well, there is no desire to speak in conspiratorial tones here. There is a more general malaise to do with the cultural backdrop that is the UK. Those running around making the decisions have little knowledge about the entertainments industry and could not care less about the impact of their decisons on it. Why should they be concerned: they have a job to do with a blunt instrument; and besides, it will hardly affect their wage or pension.

A meeting of minds between the music 'professionals' - a definition that has yet to be agreed upon by consensus - would seem apt at this time. This may take the form of a conference (offline/online). Naturally the protocols would be followed in order to abide by the (somewhat spurious) rules and stipulations that prevail during these times. But a conference would serve a lot of purposes. For one: the views expressed would help to paint a picture of where music is 'at' in the UK; whether there is such a thing as a 'professional' musician and whether or not it can be countenanced; whether it is worth it for a young musician to spend £9000 a year going to a Conservatoire to be trained just so they can have a hobby. This is not an argument in favour of self entitlement - an unfortunate characteristic; but simply that people usually invest their time and efforts and monies into things with a certain level of expectation. And what about a more effective Musicians Union to support the interests of professionals? The UK MU is about as potent as a eunoch.

Let's see....

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