Independent Music Promoters on verge of collapse as Omnicron variant rips through UK

A record number of audience no-shows as confidence crashes, artists contracting covid, show cancellations and postponements leave UK promoters in peril

London, 17th December 2021 The Association of Independent Promoters today calls on the UK Government to step in to support Independent Promoters as rapidly mounting losses threaten to devastate the future of live music in the UK.

“Concerts are being postponed or cancelled every hour” says promoter Danni Brownsill of the Sugarmill in Stoke. “Yesterday we lost a near sold-out show at 4.30pm in the afternoon when the artist confirmed they’d contracted Covid. We will still need to pay all the crew who were preparing for the gig, venue staff and others as well as losing all the costs we’ve laid out on promoting and marketing the show. It’s catastrophic.”

“Every single live music event in the UK is put on by a promoter.” says AIP Executive Chair John Rostron “As things stand, it is promoters who are at the front of this collapse in the UK live music scene, bearing costs of artist fees, venue hire, marketing and production for events, that are now in peril in a rapidly deteriorating situation.”

“This feels like March 2020 all over again” says Promoter Anna Moulson of Melting Vinyl in Brighton “Shows are collapsing every single hour. It’s rapidly getting worse. Yet there’s no Government support. If we are not financially supported during this time – either to operate and cover the losses, or to be closed so we can wait to safely re-open, the UK live music scene will lose hundreds of small independent promoters. Without us, there is no UK live music scene.”

Independent Promoters put on over 70% of the UK’s live music and club events and are responsible for developing six in every ten UK live music artists that go on to headline Arenas in the UK.  In a recent survey conducted by the AIP and Independent Venue Week the organisations also found that:

49% of grassroots music venues reported that numbers of  independent promoters that use their venue in their area have already stopped trading because of the pandemic, and 18% of venues have lost their in-house booker during this time too.

Also of concern for the live sector is that 8% intend to stop booking live music all together and look to different types of programming. 

The AIP fears these numbers will continue to increase if support is not given to the sector immediately.

“Though we did see promoters close for good during the pandemic, it was the support measures from UK Government that kept those numbers down and enabled many to make it through to return to promoting this year. Those tools and funds are all at their finger tips to implement again. They just need to do it, fast.” says John Rostron.

The AIP calls on UK Government to :

Create a ring fenced stabilization fund for independent music promoters and grassroots music venues including  money reportedly yet to be spent or allocated from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Underwrite losses during this period as audience confidence fails with attendances dropping by an average of 40% at  shows and as artists and or their crew contract Covid and have to cancel tours midway through leaving promoters carrying huge losses from unfulfilled shows.

Divert funds to sole-trader and freelance promoters who have been unable to access any rounds of Culture Recovery Fund.

Further, the AIP calls on UK government to :

  • scrap the planned increase in VAT, and institute and emergency reduction back to 5% during the worst of the Omicron wave
  • Offer short term financial support for the sector as it battles with the immediate impacts of cancellations
  • Defer any loan repayments  – such as bounce back loans, etc.
  • extend the business rates holiday period. – to allow anyone in our sector with fixed premises to recover without having extra burden.



The Association of Independent Promoters is a Not For Profit Trade Association which brings together the best independent promoters from across the UK. The Association of Independent Promoters  represents over 150 members. For more information see


The Association of Independent Promoters (AIP) is a new not for profit trade association bringing together independent promoters from across the UK. Our aim is to represent, empower and provide a vital support network to promoters.