SOME of the biggest names in Scottish music have joined forces to call on the Scottish government for vital support for the sector. Artists such as Biffy Clyro, Mogwai, The Twilight Sad, The View, Primal Scream, Eddi Reader, KT Tunstall, Kathryn Joseph and more have all signed a letter to Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop demanding that the industry gets a fair deal from new public funding rescue packages for the arts.

The new campaign has today been launched by the Scottish Commercial Music Industry Task Force, said to have been “formed out of concern that there is a lack of support or understanding of this sector’s need”.

Identifying urgent issues for the sector within the current environment, the Task Force encompasses all sub-sectors of the Scottish music industry. From artists, agents and managers, promoters and festivals, music venues and production companies, the Scottish Commercial Music Industry Task Force recognises a vast amount of businesses are in immediate jeopardy, and without these essential operators, the country’s music industry risks devastation.

Founding members include DF Concerts, Regular Music, Active Events, Craft Management, A Modern Way Management, Ironworks Venue, Asgard, ATC Live, Sneaky Petes and Fly Events. The Task Force also includes the Scottish Music Industry Association and has its full support.

Specifically writing to Fiona Hyslop, as the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture the Task Force is asking for support for commercial music businesses, who have been seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through no fault of their own.

Artists including Biffy Clyro, Deacon Blue, Del Amitri, Eddi Reader, Kathryn Joseph, KT Tunstall, Mogwai, Primal Scream, Simple Minds, SLAM, Teenage Fanclub, Texas, The Proclaimers, The Twilight Sad and more have signed their name to the letter. Festivals, labels, booking agencies, management companies as well as studios and venues have also signed including; Adlib Audio, Belladrum Festival, Edinburgh and Glasgow Summer Sessions, Edinburgh Corn Exchange, G4S, Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom, HebCelt Festival,  Kingdom Management, Music Venues Alliance,  PCL Presents, Riverside Festival, Scottish Event Campus, Showtec, Skye Live Festival, SOMA Recordings Ltd,  Sub Club, SWG3, Traditional Music Forum, Ticketmaster Scotland, TRNSMT Festival and more.

The said “We recognise and welcome the additional targeted measures that the Scottish Government has taken to address gaps in UK schemes to protect Scotland’s arts and culture sector.

“However, the Scottish commercial music industry has unique needs and operates within different parameters from the not for profit / subsidised sector and we urge you to address these as a matter of priority and before it is too late.

“Scottish music businesses are still falling through the gaps of existing UK and Scottish Government schemes. These businesses encompass the most experienced in our industry and are at imminent risk of closure or at least will need to let experienced staff go.

“This risks the loss of critical infrastructure, knowledge and skills which will significantly limit our ability to recover and continue to provide career development pathways for Scottish artists.

“There has been a lack of consultation with the commercial music sector on its needs. For example the announcement on Friday of a £10m rescue package for performing arts venues is very welcome but we note that it is unclear if it will benefit commercial music venues.

“Funding schemes administered by Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise do not prioritise the activities of the Scottish commercial music sector.

“While the commercial music sector has never collectively asked for support, the list of signatories to this letter evidences the sector forms a critical part of our cultural infrastructure offering resilience, contributing towards local economies and cultural tourism which in turn benefits the wider Scottish economy.”