Paloma Faith, Nick Cave, and Johnny Marr are among the stars who have put their names to a letter calling on the U.K. government to bail out arts organisations amid the Covid-19 crisis.
The music stars, as well as fellow musicians PJ Harvey and Rufus Wainwright and actors Simon Callow and Jonathan Pryce, are among 400 signatories of a letter addressed to government ministers warning Britain will become a “cultural wasteland” if action isn’t taken.
The letter, organised by Creative Industries Federation (CIF) chiefs, warns that one in seven arts organisations will run out of cash reserves by the end of the week, and half will be out of money by June, as Covid-19 lockdown measures have shut music venues, theatres, cinemas, and other arts spaces.
“The creative arts have always been a refuge, an important voice in times of joy, pain and heartache,” Paloma said in a statement. “They unite people in their shared experiences. and make people feel less alone, punctuating our memories and articulating the feelings we don’t have the words for.”
“Since the beginning of time, people have gathered to listen to music and stories together. Creativity is what makes us human. A virus cannot stop time,” added Rufus.
Freelancers working in the arts are able to receive 80 per cent of recent earnings from the government, while Arts Council England officials have also announced a $198 million (£160 million) emergency response package for artists and organisations.
However, CIF bosses warn that further action is needed to save an industry contributing more than $124 billion to the U.K. economy, according to government estimates.