Economy and Society: Contribution of Music

Mark Tami Excerpts
Tuesday 21st January 2020

(1 year, 9 months ago)

Westminster Hall

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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Conor McGinn Portrait Conor McGinn
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I agree entirely, and I think we will find agreement on that across the Chamber.

Mark Tami Portrait Mark Tami (Alyn and Deeside) (Lab)
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Does my hon. Friend agree that it is important that we protect the music venues we still have? There are still far too many of them closing. Let me mention the Tivoli in Buckley, which is famous, particularly for a sad old punk like me who has seen bands such as Stiff Little Fingers and Public Image Ltd there. It is good that we can still go and see such bands, but venues of that type are sometimes threatened by planning law, particularly where housing is built directly behind them or beside them and there are complaints about opening hours and so on. Ultimately, that can kill those venues.

Conor McGinn Portrait Conor McGinn
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I agree entirely. I will come to the points made by both my right hon. Friend and the hon. Member for Solihull (Julian Knight) in more detail later in my speech.

There has been an incredible 10% increase in the number of overseas visitors coming to the UK for shows and festivals, with nearly 900,000 people visiting these shores just for live music events in 2018. Live music is at a record high and continues to draw millions of fans from both Britain and abroad to our arenas and smaller venues alike. “Music By Numbers” identified that music exports are another amazing success story, generating revenues of £2.7 billion, with the best of British creative talent being showcased across the globe.

There is something unique about Britain and its ability to create a globally successful music industry that is envied across the world. Ed Sheeran is the biggest selling touring artist in the world, with the “÷” tour now officially the highest grossing tour of all time. Billboard magazine recently revealed that the O2 Arena in London was the most successful music venue in the world over the past decade, with the Manchester Arena also in the top five. The Theatre Royal in St Helens is slightly further down the list but none the less a critical component of our local live music scene.

In nine of the last 15 years, the biggest selling album in the world has been from a UK artist. Lewis Capaldi recently reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. In 2019 we also saw fantastic debut albums from AJ Tracey, Dave, Mabel, Sam Fender and Tom Walker. We continue to be a world leader in all genres, from jazz and folk to grime. We are home to studios that record sensational box office film scores and soundtracks, as well as to many of the most accomplished orchestras in the world.