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​Overwhelming inflation costs could price out touring artists, MMF warns

Musicians are expected to be hit with a “perfect storm” of rising costs

  • Gemma Ross
  • 5 September 2022
​Overwhelming inflation costs could price out touring artists, MMF warns

Touring artists are expected to be priced out when gigging abroad according to the UK’s Music Managers Forum (MMF).

Rising costs of touring have been pinned on inflation, COVID, and Brexit, making for a “perfect storm”, per MMF’s CEO Annabella Coldrick.

“I want to be really positive because we’re so pleased that live music is back but when costs have gone up 30-40% – and you can’t put tickets up at the same level because people are working out how to pay their heating bill – that’s tough,” Coldrick told IQ Magazine.

Read this next: Regulations limiting UK-EU music touring are being eased

“Some artists can absorb the current costs of touring but most can’t. I think we’re going to have to look at how we tour and what reductions we can bring in.”

According to the MMF CEO, these rising touring costs could come down to a number of factors post-pandemic and EU departure and could continue this way for “years” down the line, pricing out up-and-coming musicians, breakthrough acts, and the “next generation of talent”.

Coldrick anticipates that cost pressures could be alleviated by keeping VAT on ticket prices down to 5%, while musicians can take home 100% of profits on merchandise sales at events.

Read this next: New fund launched to help touring musicians post-Brexit

“So many managers have spent a lot of time trying to find ways around venues taking a commission of merchandise,” she tells IQ.

“I’ve heard stories about artists hiring ice cream vans and putting them outside of the venue to sell merch, or taking over cafes. We don’t want to do that – it’s a lot more time and effort. We’re hoping the venues will realise that being able to make it possible for artists to tour at the moment is a key thing.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

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