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UK Music throws Summer Party at Southbank Centre

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright paid tribute to UK Music for a “fantastic year” supporting the music industry at our summer party.

Speaking at the event attended by a host of senior politicians and music industry leaders at the Southbank Centre, Mr Wright said: “Great to be here to celebrate another fantastic year for UK Music.”

He also outlined his determination to work with UK Music to continue to develop the music industry’s eco-system.

Mr Wright said:“I recognise that what we need to do is to make sure that the talent pipeline stays open. That’s not just about bringing people in from overseas, though that’s part of it.

“It’s also about making sure the next generation of UK musicians have the creative education they need and deserve. I take the responsibility seriously. There is a lot more to do, but I think we as politicians should do it.”

Mr Wright also highlighted his support for UK Music’s successful battle over the EU Copyright Directive, encapsulated in our #LoveMusic campaign.

The Culture Secretary said:“I also think it’s right to defend the rights to creative material of those who create it. That’s exactly what we’ve done over the past 12 months and what we intend to continue doing in conjunction with you.”

Mr Wright was followed at the packed event on Wednesday evening by Labour Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Culture Secretary Tom Watson who said:“You have had a very good year, UK Music.  The tech giants - they lost.”

Mr Watson added: “We’re going to press for greater support for the music industry, for protecting grassroots venues. They are central to that talent pipeline. They are the industry’s R&D.”

Lib Dem Culture spokeswoman in the House of Lords, Baroness Bonham Carter, praised the “fantastically brilliant” UK music industry, but added: “I think there are reasons for concerns and that’s a leaking talent pipeline.”

She added: “There is clear evidence that creative subjects are being squeezed out of the school curriculum.”

In his speech UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said: “As our flagship ‘Measuring Music’ Report showed, music makes a £4.5 billon contribution to the UK economy - with music exports growing by 7%. As a country, we are phenomenally good at this.”

Michael added: "We have been fearless and we will be relentless in taking on big tech - just like we did over the Copyright Directive."

Regarding the issue of Brexit and the Copyright Directive, Michael outlined the need for a "roadmap" to deliver the hard-won copyright reforms.

He said: "At UK Music we will continue to highlight the need for touring artists and musicians to be able to move freely without the kind of cost and bureaucracy that, frankly, could make playing across Europe simply not viable for many UK musicians.

"Our studios and festivals and venues need to be able to bring in talent from the EU. Also, without a transitional phase or withdrawal agreement, implementation of the Copyright Directive in the UK cannot be taken for granted which is why we urgently need a roadmap to get on and implement that Directive."

On music in education, Michael warned: “If we don’t sort out music in our state education, as an industry and as a country, we will just be drawing water from a well that’s getting smaller and smaller. So we’re going to keep banging on about this in the weeks and months ahead.”

Michael also praised Culture Secretary Mr Wright, saying: “We have had some great discussions and have made some real progress in so many policy areas.

“I know that Jeremy is someone who understands the importance of our industry. He has always been willing to engage with UK Music. He gets it. He listens. And he has supported us in any way he can.”

UK Music chairman Andy Heath CBE thanks the politicians for attending and spoke about the vital importance of supporting political leaders in a parliamentary democracy.

Andy said: “We need to challenge them and hold them to account. But we don’t don’t need to insult them and denigrate them.”

He introduced Scottish singer/songwriter Tamzene who played a short set including a beautiful performance of Last Song.

The MPs who attended our summer party included: Alex Sobel; Alison Thewliss; Angus MacNeil; Caroline Dineage; Caroline Flint; Chris Bryant; Chris Green; Chris Matheson; Damian Collins; David Duguid; Emma Hardy; Gloria de Piero; Huw Merriman; Ian Austin; Ian C Lucas; Jeremy Wright; John Lamont; John Mann; John Spellar; Justin Madders; Karin Smyth; Kevin Brennan; Lisa Cameron; Luke Pollard; Mark Francois; Mark Menzies; Mark Tami; Melanie Onn; Mike Amesbury; Mike Gapes; Mims Davies; Neil Coyle; Nic Dakin; Nigel Adams; Pat McFadden; Paul Masterton; Pete Wishart; Rosie Duffield; Dame Rosie Winterton; Sharon Hodgson; Stephanie Peacock; Stephen Doughty; Thangam Debbonaire; Tom Watson; Tonia Antoniazzi; Tracy Brabin; Vicky Ford; Vicky Foxcroft; Ross Thomson; Conor McGinn; Bambos Charalambous; and Douglas Ross.

The peers who attended included: Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury; Lord Bassam of Brighton; Lord Clement-Jones; Lord Watts and Lord Razzall.

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