Skip to main content

Home Music Music News

Music industry calls on government to slash VAT rate on ticket sales

'We urgently need to see some action from the Chancellor,' said UK Music ahead of next week's Spring budget.

By Nick Reilly

Music Venue Trust
(Picture: Pexels)

Leading voices from within the UK music industry are calling on the government to slash the VAT rate on gig tickets so that a “vital lifeline” is provided for venues facing the threat of shutting their doors for good.

UK Music, the leading representative organisation for Britain’s music industry, has called on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to slash the current VAT rate in half when he announces his spring budget on March 6.

The VAT rate paid by punters for gig tickets in the UK is currently 20 percent, which The Independent claims to be double the EU average and triple the rate of countries such as Germany and Belgium.

In a new statement, UK Music interim chief executive Tom Kiehl said: “We urgently need to see some action from the Chancellor in the Budget to support the UK music industry at what is an immensely tough time for many venues and for those working in our sector.”

“Cutting VAT on tickets to 10 per cent would be a vital lifeline and could mean the difference between saving and losing some of our most loved music venues, which are key parts of many local economies and communities.”

The new message from UK Music comes as grassroots venues continue to be battered by a series of factors including rising energy costs, the cost of living crisis and the hangover of losses caused by Covid.

Data from the Music Venue Trust (MVT) last year painted a particularly bleak picture, with 125 venues shutting down for good in 2023. They included the notable closure of Bath venue Moles, where the likes of Oasis, Ed Sheeran and Radiohead cut their teeth at early gigs.