I've worked in the live music, festival and events industry now for over 40 years. In many ways it has been the focus for my life, whether that focus has been led by early teenage bands, my first record label - Cooking Vinyl and roots and world music the scene that evolved around it, The Big Chill festival and venues, which in many ways refined community-based music and arts gatherings and currently Campfire Convention, with its accent on bringing people together from a variety of directions, musical and beyond. Our recent World Harmony online gathering was a big success with around 10000 watching and participating from 60 countries.
Over the years the music and arts industry has grown and grown as a percentage of GNP and creative output, yet it is seemingly still not regarded as an essential industry worthy of support from the government.
Looking at this in a wider context, with no end to social distancing insight or financial support from the government yet agreed, the future looks bleak. In essence, almost everyone I know who has worked, often independently and driven by their own passion and vision, in music, the arts, festivals and events, is now either facing bankruptcy or an indefinite pause to their initiatives and ambitions.
I still maintain, as I have done in recent months, that Universal Basic Income is the only way forward with such a big economic crash on its way, but the following campaign is still worthy of your support. Today, artists, promoters, production companies, many third party-suppliers from security to cleaners, and many concert-goers alike, launch the campaign, #LetTheMusicPlay. To highlight the importance of the sector to the UK's economy and for everyone's collective voices to be heard in Whitehall.
And as part of the campaign, you are encouraged to post an image, video, of the last gig you attended.
In my case it was Campfire's Winter Gathering, my own event and this music session offered some fresh directions for the presentation of music from within a community - part 'workshop', part 'performance' but hugely engaging and moving for everyone in the space....
'Reach The Light' is somehow even more symbolic in today's Covid context.
Composition by Marcia Willis
DUSK ASSEMBLY is led by Sarah Jewell
with Mark Brown, Marcia Willis, Diane Leak, Chris Bluemel, Patrick Carpenter
Filmed at Campfire's Winter Gathering, Frome, February 2020
Support it here: https://www.ukmusic.org/policy/let-the-music-play