Sheffield band 65daysofstatic have questioned the motives of funding that they have received from the BPI (British Phonographic Industry).
In a post on the group’s site titled “UK Government: Musicians are not your Fig Leaves”, the group explain that they recently received funding, along with 18 other artists, from the BPI. “This is no doubt a good thing for us. It’s appreciated and will be put to good use”, they clarify, before honing in on a quote from Business Secretary Sajid Javid.
“Music is a defining part of British culture, from the British Invasion in the 1960s to 90s Britpop”, says Javid, before claiming that “through the Music Export Growth Scheme, the government is banging the drum for the UK’s fledgling music stars and promoting the UK’s world-class sound in overseas markets. The scheme highlights the strength of the UK’s creative industries and the benefits they deliver to the UK economy.”
Herein lies the group’s issue. “The idea of 65daysofstatic”, the post continues,
“being held up in any way as evidence that this hyper-Dickensian, fucking nightmare of a Tory government is apparently supporting the arts, when in actual fact they are destroying any kind of infrastructure for future creativity at the grassroots level and plunging the most vulnerable parts of society into further misery, leaves a bad taste in our mouths.”
The post then goes into more detail about the scheme and the group’s position on it, while also touching on the issues with Apple Music (“did you know Apple only paid £12 million in tax in the UK last year instead of the estimated £400 million that they should have? If you could take that up with them next time you fancy fixing things for struggling artists, it’d be really appreciate”) and more.
“The point here is absolutely not to complain that we as a band are not getting paid”, they emphasise again, “but simply to point out that it is not accurate for this kind of funding to be held up as evidence of a government who is supporting the arts in this country when, in actual fact, they are destroying the conditions where it can even survive, never mind thrive.” You can read the whole post here.