MPs propose levy on arena concert tickets to raise funds for struggling small venues

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MPs are proposing a ticket levy on concerts held at UK arenas and stadiums to support struggling grassroots music venues.

This levy would raise funds for smaller venues facing financial challenges and the risk of closure.

The cross-party culture, media, and sport committee recommends an initial voluntary levy on arena and stadium concert tickets to establish a support fund for venues, artists, and promoters. If sufficient financial support is not raised by September, the committee suggests the government should intervene and introduce a statutory levy. Importantly, the cost of this levy would be incorporated into the existing ticket price, ensuring it does not burden music fans.

This proposal signifies a shift from previous government stances, with the former culture secretary expressing no plans for a ticket levy last year. However, industry bodies such as the Featured Artists Coalition and the Music Managers Forum stress the urgency of implementing support mechanisms for the music ecosystem.

The inquiry, initiated by grassroots venue charity Music Venue Trust (MVT), draws attention to the challenges faced by independent venues across the UK. Data provided by industry bodies and consultations with venues highlight shared challenges such as rent and energy costs, emphasizing the need for targeted solutions like temporary VAT cuts.

Overall, the proposed ticket levy aims to sustain access to culture and creativity in communities, with hopes that political parties will adopt these recommendations as part of their manifestos ahead of a prospective general election.

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