Last week, Calvin Harris took to social media to call out the UK government for its treatment of the music industry during COVID-19, elucidating how much money it brings in to the community as well as its social impact. Techno legend Carl Cox is next to share his concerns, doing so at a Q&A at the Brighton Music Conference, where he slammed the UK government for saying the dance scene is not "viable."
Helen Whately the UK's Minister for Care at the Department of Health and Social Care, recently shared disheartening comments regarding nightlife. She stated that supporting the nightlife industry "doesn't make sense" and that instead they recommend people working in the industry to consider other lines of work. Whately's comments did not sit well with Cox, who said, "It's not right that the government thinks that we're unviable."
"The government is 100% wrong," he continued. "The people have spoken before, we fought for the right to party. Despite everything that the police and the politicians put us under, they had to give festivals and clubs the ability to give people what they wanted in their lives, in comfortable surroundings.
Cox went on to describe how insulting it is to think the industry has the right to die out. "I’ve been doing this for the best part of 40 years - my heart and soul and spirit lives on within me to continue to do what I do at the level I do it at. If you love the music, we have to make our voices heard on being viable. They’re basically saying we don’t exist. We’ve been involved in this music for 30 years - do you think it’ll fizzle out by tomorrow?"
The BBC reported that as of August 2020, there are approximately 4.76 million self-employed people in the UK and only 14.5% of those are employed currently. So far, the only support that arts and culture institutions have received came after various campaigns—including Music Venues Trust (MVT) and #LetTheMusicPlay—pushed the issue. This lead to the UK government announcing a £1.57billion support package, but the veracity of that figure is still in question.
You can watch the Brighton Music Conference live or on-demand here.