Maddy Radcliff, Diane Widdison and I travelled the short distance from MU HQ to the Southbank Pavilion this evening to attend UK Music’s annual Summer Party in the Weston Pavilion. This is a very popular event that draws many movers and shakers from the music industry and now attracts a considerable number of parliamentarians.
Speaking at the event, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright MP said: “It is great to be here to celebrate another fantastic year for UK Music.” He added, “I recognise that what we need to do is to make sure that the talent pipeline stays open. It’s about making sure the next generation of UK musicians have the creative education they need and deserve. I take the responsibility seriously. There is a lot more to do, but I think we as politicians should do it. I also think it’s right to defend the rights to creative material of those who create it. That’s exactly what we’ve done over the past twelve months and what we intend to continue doing in conjunction with you.”
Mr Wright was followed by Labour Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Culture Secretary Tom Watson who said, “You have had a very good year, UK Music. The tech giants? They lost.” Tom continued, “We’re going to press for greater support for the music industry, for protecting grassroots venues. They are central to that talent pipeline. They are the industry’s R&D.”
Liberal Democrat Baroness Bonham Carter praised the “brilliant” UK music industry, but adding a note of caution, “I think there are reasons for concerns and that’s a leaking talent pipeline. There is clear evidence that creative subjects are being squeezed out of the school curriculum.”
In his speech, UK Music Chief Executive Michael Daughter highlighted a number of key topics: “As our flagship Measuring Music report showed, music makes a £4.5 billon contribution to the UK economy, with music exports growing by 7%. As a country, we are phenomenally good at this. Michael continued, “At UK Music we will continue to highlight the need for touring artists and musicians to be able to move freely without the kind of cost and bureaucracy that, frankly, could make playing across Europe simply not viable for many UK musicians. Our studios and festivals and venues need to be able to bring in talent from the EU. Also, without a transitional phase or withdrawal agreement, implementation of the Copyright Directive in the UK cannot be taken for granted which is why we urgently need a roadmap to get on and implement that Directive. He added, “If we don’t sort out music in our state education, as an industry and as a country, we will just be drawing water from a well that’s getting smaller and smaller. So we’re going to keep banging on about this in the weeks and months ahead.”
UK Music chairman Andy Heath CBE thanked the politicians for attending and spoke about the importance of supporting political leaders in a parliamentary democracy. He then introduced Scottish singer/songwriter/pianist Tamzene, who played a short set including a moving performance of Last Song.
Industry attendees included Geoff Taylor, Peter Leathem, Maggie Crowe OBE, Alison Wenham, Jo Dipple, Keith Harris, Crispin Hunt, Jonathan Morrish, Sybil Bell, Helene Lindvall, Tony Moore, Robin Millar, Olga Fitzroy, Sandie Shaw, Adrian Chiles, David Cohen, Ele Hill and Sue Harris.
It was particularly great to spend some time with saxophonist Jason Yarde and to catch up with several journalists, including Dave Wooding and his partner Pat.
In addition to Wright, Watson and Bonham Carter, the MPs and Peers who attended included Alex Sobel, Alison Thewliss, Angus MacNeil, Caroline Dineage, Caroline Flint, Chris Bryant, Chris Green, Chris Matheson, Damian Collins, David Duguid, Emma Hardy, Gloria de Piero, Huw Merriman, Ian Austin, Ian C Lucas, John Lamont, John Mann, John Spellar, Justin Madders, Karin Smyth, Kevin Brennan, Lisa Cameron, Luke Pollard, Mark Francois, Mark Menzies, Mark Tami, Melanie Onn, Mike Amesbury, Mike Gapes, Mims Davies, Neil Coyle, Nic Dakin, Nigel Adams, Pat McFadden, Paul Masterton, Pete Wishart, Rosie Duffield, Sharon Hodgson, Stephanie Peacock, Stephen Doughty, Thangam Debbonaire, Tonia Antoniazzi, Tracy Brabin, Vicky Ford, Vicky Foxcroft, Ross Thomson, Conor McGinn, Bambos Charalambous, Douglas Ross, Lord Bassam of Brighton, Lord Clement-Jones, Dame Rosie Winterton, Lord Watts and Lord Razzall.
My thanks to the UK Music team: Michael Dugher, Tom Kiehl, Vincent Moss, Oliver Morris, Felicity Oliver, Rachel Bolland, Jennifer Geddes Natalie Williams and Beatriz Ribeiro.