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US music bodies lobby Congress for more Covid-19 relief


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A group of US music industry bodies are lobbying Congress for more relief amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and its effect on live music specifically.

“The live music business – once a sign of a thriving community and a draw to our cultural and commercial centers – has gone tragically silent,” explained a letter jointly signed by 21 bodies including the RIAA, NMPA, MMF US, Recording Academy and SoundExchange.

“The music community remains grateful for Congress’ bipartisan relief efforts earlier this year, but more must be done soon to avoid a level of loss that that could devastate artists, musicians, engineers, producers, venues, and everyone in the music industry for a generation.”

The letter outlines five things that the industry bodies want from legislators at this point in the pandemic. First: to renew and extend existing benefits that have helped musicians and their teams survive so far. Second: to pass legislation bringing ‘mixed earners’ (or gig workers) into those benefits. Third, to expand and pass the proposed ‘Save Our Stages Act’ to give more support to music venues, with knock-on effects for the people who work in them. “Providing direct financial relief to the workers of all venues is critical to keeping local communities afloat,” as the letter put it. Helping workers to keep their healthcare plans, and providing tax relief, are also on the bodies’ agenda.

Stuart Dredge

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