It’s a sorry sign of our times that Sir Paul can no longer pick up a phone to the prime minister, but has to sign a letter like everyone else appealing to the so-far-inactive Culture Secretary for aid to the desperate music industry.
The letter says: ‘Like every part of the entertainment industry, live music has been proud to play our part in the national effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus and keep people safe. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.
‘This sector doesn’t want to ask for government help,’ it adds. ‘The venues, promoters, festival organisers, production companies, agents and many other employers want to be self-sufficient, as they were before lockdown. But, until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies, and the end of this world-leading industry.’
There are 1,500 signatories including Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Coldplay, Annie Lennox, Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden and Lewis Capaldi.
The Culture Secretary tweeted in response: I understand the deep anxiety of those working in music & the desire to see fixed dates for reopening I am pushing hard for these dates & to give you a clear roadmap back These involve v difficult decisions about the future of social distancing, which we know has saved lives