Cardiff Music Board statement on the impact of Covid-19
The Sound Diplomacy report into Cardiff’s music sector which triggered the creation of the Cardiff Music Board found that live music created 70% of jobs in the music sector in Cardiff and produced 65% (£45.6 million) of the income.

With live music venues currently closed, festivals cancelled and recording studios, music education and many other areas of the music sector all affected by Covid-19, Cardiff Music Board are working to address some of the concerns and challenges that have arisen for the industry. The board are now calling for more clarity on the guidance for the sector, particularly around events, mass gatherings and the expected timelines for gigs and performances to restart.

Council Leader and Chair of the Cardiff Music Board, Cllr Huw Thomas said: “Welsh Government legislation means that live music events can’t currently take place either indoors or outdoors, but the members of the Music Board are united in their desire to help bring live music back to the city as quickly as possible, once the rules are relaxed. There are many reasons for that – clearly there’s a huge cultural value in having music in our lives, but live music is also an essential part of Cardiff’s cultural and night-time economy.

“Prior to Covid-19 our plans were to integrate music into every aspect of the city – now, with the jobs and incomes of people and companies in the music industry at risk, we face a new set of challenges.

“The Music Board’s work to deliver on our music city aspirations and implement the recommendations in the Sound Diplomacy Music Strategy report will continue and productive conversations are being had on areas as diverse as busking regulations and mapping opportunities for music education in Cardiff, but the reality is that the challenges faced by the music sector in the wake of Covid-19 mean progress will not be easy.

“Our key focus at this time has to be finding ways to support the recovery of Cardiff’s music sector – a sector which has been hit incredibly heavily by the pandemic and the lockdown regulations necessarily put in place to protect public health.

“As we move out of lockdown, the council’s plans for a Safer Cardiff include creating ‘spill out zones’, new spaces in the city centre for cafés and restaurants to extend their business into – the grounds of Cardiff Castle have also been opened up as a free public square.

“If people can safely enjoy live music in these spaces it gives them another reason to spend time in the city centre and support the city’s economy, however without changes or clarifications to the current nationwide rules on live music events then moving forward with these plans is not possible.

“All members of the Music Board, myself included, want live music, whether that’s busking or at more managed events, to play the significant role it could in the council’s wider plan to protect jobs, create a buzz in the city again and create a safe, welcoming environment that encourages people back into the city centre.

“The board are ready to work through these plans, so that when the time comes and the public health situation allows, we can once again welcome live music back to Cardiff and we would welcome further clarity on how and when that could happen.”

Picture courtesy of On Par/Clwb Creative taken last week at a live streamed Panic Shack gig at held at Cultvr.