Musicians ask UK govt to save live concerts

British musician and former Beatles' member Paul McCartney (C) performs on stage at the Bercy stadium in Paris on May 30, 2016. (AFP PHOTO)

Paul McCartney and Ed Sheeran are among more than 1,500 musicians asking the British government to step in and save the country's world-renowned live music scene from devastation by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Little Mix, Coldplay and Dua Lipa are also signatories to an open letter saying that the ban on mass gatherings in response to the virus could mean "the end of this world-leading industry."

The letter says that "with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak."

Britain's summer music festivals are a major employer and revenue-generator. All have been canceled this year, or become online-only events because of COVID-19.

The U.K. government says it is already supporting millions of furloughed workers, including in the culture sector. and is looking at what additional support it can provide.

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