A campaign has been launched to encourage the Scottish government to lift the current ban on music and TV noise in bars and venues.

The ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ campaign is being led by the NTIAS (The Night Time Industries Association Scotland) who argue that the ban is having a severely detrimental effect on hospitality businesses due to creating a very sterile environment. Premises such as SWG3, Sub Club, The Admiral Bar, BAaD and more have all spoken out as they fear it could lead to the final nail in the coffin for Scotland’s struggling hospitality sector.

Scotland is the only country in the world to have imposed such a ban. Since the ruling was instated on 14th August, there has been a downturn in trade of 20 per cent according to trade body The Scottish Beer and Pub Association.

Organisers have argued that the ban on music fails to achieve its desired outcome of reducing viral transmission through aerosol emission – droplets expelled through the mouth during actions such as talking, shouting and singing.

They insist music creates a welcoming environment and would boost the atmosphere to already struggling venues.

NTIAS have launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #DontStopTheMusic asking people to post their favourite songs to social media to show support for their efforts. City venues such as SWG3, Firewater, McChuills and more have all voiced their support.

Michael Grieve, Chair of NTIAS said, “The total ban on background music is having a severe effect on many hospitality businesses leading to completely sterile environments which some have likened to visiting a library.

“It seems completely disproportionate relative to other settings and whilst our industry is totally committed to the serious public health imperatives which the Scottish government is focused on, our already damaged sector is in serious danger of being permanently wiped out unless this ban is removed.”

SWG3’s Andrew Fleming-Brown said: “The most recent announcement from the Scottish Government has been received by the sector as another huge setback. We are already operating within very challenging guidelines and now, Scotland is the only country in the world to ban background music, which is the kiss of death for ambience.

“If we want to succeed in controlling the spread of Covid, we must create controlled environments for young people to socialise. It’s the only way we will put a stop to illegal raves and unlicensed music events, which pose a very real risk to those attending and their families. With the right planning and measures, and a realistic roadmap, night time venues are capable of reopening safely.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We don’t want the restrictions in place for any longer than is needed, but the measures are in place for good reason: the advice remains that hospitality premises should have no background music or volume from TVs because of the increased risk of transmission from aerosol and droplets when people raise their voices.

“This measure is being kept under review.”

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SWG3 stands with the NTIA & their campaign to Bring Back Music & to fight an end to the background music ban! 𝗦𝗰𝗼𝘁𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗯𝗮𝗻 𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗯𝗮𝘁 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵.𝗧𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗽𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝗮𝘃𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 #DontStopTheMusic 𝗵𝗮𝘀𝗵𝘁𝗮𝗴. Music is central to creating a welcoming environment for customers in already struggling venues across Scotland & is also vital to mental health & well-being for staff & customers alike. The night-time economy industry is calling for the ban to end & for the introduction of robust venue specific measures to be implemented to ensure the safety of customers & employees. Join us in sharing this message! SWG3.x #DontStopTheMusic

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