Today the ISM is delighted to announce the launch of a new strategic campaign partnership with the Musicians Movement. It is hoping to secure a new support package to #MakeMusicWork and ensure musicians can start earning again. Uniting around two key campaigning asks, both organisations are together fighting for:

a new Freelance Performers Support Scheme to help musicians return to live performances in COVID-secure spaces and earn money.
changes to the Self- Employment Income Support Scheme to provide a tailored safety net for musicians who cannot work whilst venues remain closed due to government safety restrictions.
The new partnership began with a joint letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak following his speech at Conservative Party Conference and the Government’s ‘Winter Economy Plan’. It is hoped that these proposals will attract more organisations to align themselves with the new partnership.

At a time when coronavirus is devastating our sector, this collaboration reflects the recent trend for greater coordination between music industry organisations. It is designed to increase the impact and effectiveness of the music community’s campaigns in their lobbying of the UK government and across the devolved nations. The campaign takes place amidst a unprecedented grassroots activism amongst musicians, as seen in recent protests in Westminster like The Panto Parade and Let Music Live. The #MakeMusicWork campaign aims to mobilise this energy into meaningful government action for the sector.

Musicians are angry, the sector is united and we are ready to #MakeMusicWork.

About the proposals

Creating a new Freelance Performers Support Scheme
The Freelance Performers’ Support Scheme creates a COVID-secure route back to work; kickstarting the live music sector, bringing back tens of thousands of viable jobs, uniting communities and protecting our national culture.
It guarantees performers a minimum fee, even if COVID restrictions change which in turn enables some financial security in these unprecedented times.
It gives venues and promoters the opportunity to programme in advance without financial insecurity, enabling promoters of all sizes to start curation and allowing their communities to connect once more.
The scheme is flexible and scalable in relation to government guidelines to make sure that excess funding is not in place and that government money will not be wasted.
The principals are transferable to other arts sectors, with the potential for the sector to unite to develop a one-fund, works for all, arts-sector initiative.
For more information please contact Marithé Van Der Aa,

For the full proposal visit:

Improving the Self Employment Income Support Scheme
The ISM and the Musicians Movement are also calling on the government to deliver on its pledge to ensure parity between employees and the self-employed by maintaining the existing level of support provided by the Self Employment Income Support Scheme annual and expanding the eligibility criteria. Many musicians have already fallen through the gaps in the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and will continue to be excluded under the new measures announced in the Chancellor’s 'Winter Economy Plan'. In addition, reducing the level of support down from 70% to just 20% of average monthly trading profits will not provide an adequate safety net for our members when they are unable to generate any income at all. To find out more, please visit here.

For more information, please contact

The Incorporated Society of Musicians’ Chief Executive, Deborah Annetts, said:

‘I am delighted to launch this new partnership between the ISM and the Musicians Movement because greater coordination is essential for improving the impact of campaigning. Thousands of self-employed musicians are facing desperate financial hardship, having not been able to work since March. Now is the time for the entire music community together to unite around clear, effective and realistic policy recommendations for government. Our hope is that more organisations will support our calls for a new Freelance Performers Support Scheme and improving the Self- Employment Income Support Scheme.

‘The UK music industry is known for its world-leading talent which makes a huge contribution of over £5bn annually to our economy, so it is vital that the needs of musicians are properly communicated to the government. Whichever organisation they belong to, musicians are dynamic entrepreneurs who will be back on their feet as soon as the sector can reopen and new support measures need only last until the necessary safety precautions are eased.‘

The Musicians’ Movement said

'The Musicians’ Movement is pleased to be partnering with the ISM in this joint campaign lobbying for critical support on behalf of musicians across the country.

‘As an organisation run by musicians, for musicians we receive daily communications from our supporters who want nothing more than to get back to work and contribute to their communities. The UK’s rich cultural heritage, built up over generations, is being thrown away and additional investment at this crucial time is needed to avoid the imminent collapse of our industry. The sector contributes £2.8billion a year to the Treasury via taxation, and generates a further £23billion a year and 363,700 jobs to the wider economy. All of this is at risk.

‘We simply cannot and will not allow this to happen. Music and culture form the core of our regional and national identities and are absolutely essential in bringing the country back together after months of tragedy, isolation, and economic damage. Our sector must unite around these two concrete proposals if we wish to get our message across to the government.'