In a major win for a dance music culture throttled by the impact of COVID-19, Arts Council England has confirmed that the country’s nightlife sector will be eligible to receive financial support from the government’s unprecedented £1.57 billion rescue package.
According to a report by the Evening Standard, the initial announcement of the package made an ambiguous mention of “live music venues,” which drew the ire of the region’s clubbing sector. The announcement led to the formulation of the Fatboy Slim-backed “#LetUsDance” initiative, which pressured the UK Government to acknowledge the electronic dance music scene as an explicit beneficiary of the relief package.
After many of dance music’s corps d’elite sent formal letters to Members of Parliament, including Pete Tong, Charlotte de Witte, and Andy C, Arts Council England went on to confirm the nightlife sector’s inclusion in its Culture Recovery Fund, which will range from £50,000 to £3 million. According to the Evening Standard report, the fund will be available to venues that “create, present or support” the genre of “electronic music (including house, electronica, drum and bass, dubstep and experimental).”
“This is a positive step forward, but we must maintain pressure on government to gain clarity on the roadmap for businesses that are still unable to open, and fight for further support to ensure their survive this crisis,” said the ironically-named Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association. Greg Marshall, General Manager of the Association for Electronic Music, added that the news “showed the significance of electronic music events in so many people’s lives.”