The general public is today (Thursday 2 July) being asked to share pictures and videos on social media (with the hashtag #LetTheMusicPlay) from the last concert they attended, to illustrate the importance of the UK’s live music industry. 

Commenting on the initiative, Nick Reed, Town Hall Symphony Hall’s Chief Executive, said: “I’m proud of the digital activities we’ve continued to deliver in these desperate times. Of course, our charitable output relies on income generated through our core business of live music entertainment, and sustaining these impactful activities long-term is simply not possible. The recently published government guidelines provide no assurance. We urgently need a time-based plan for reopening at full capacity and a financial support package in order for the thriving and exciting music scene in this city to survive.”

Digital broadcasts from Town Hall and Symphony Hall during the lockdown period have amassed almost 200,000 views. 

Among the highlights, the winners of two prestigious BBC Young Musician competitions, Xhosa Cole and Lauren Zhang, performed digital concerts to online audiences, direct from the centre of Birmingham. 

Other artists, including Daniel O’Donnell, Eric Bibb and Isata Kanneh-Mason, performed for online audiences from their homes. Town Hall and Symphony Hall have also shared pre-recorded concerts from across the continent as part of a collaboration between European concert halls.

According to research conducted by Virgin Money, music has powered British optimism during the coronavirus pandemic, with almost half (43%) of Birmingham naming music as the creative force helping to keep their spirits high.

In addition to having a positive impact on mental health, the live music industry contributes £4.5billion in gross value added each year.

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