Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of independent businesses have had to temporarily close down or shut up shop entirely, many of which are music venues.

As one of the main hotspots for live music in the capital, East London's Hackney has seen a number of grassroots music venues facing the risk of shutting down completely. But in their attempts of defeating the worries, 30 independent music venues in the borough have come together to sign an open letter urging the government to provide an immediate £50 million financial support package, along with reductions on VAT on future ticket sales.

Hackney Central's Paper Dress Vintage shop owner, Steve Dix has said that "it's not looking great for live music at the moment" after the current changes in the lockdown rules have stated that from July 4 "venues should not permit live performances", although all pubs, bars, hairdressers, barbers and hospitality services are reopening.

The letter is part of a nationwide campaign set up by the charity Music Venue Trust, which is attempting to save up to 90% of the music venue industry from closure due to the current COVID-19 lockdown.

Pete Bennett, co-manager of Hackney Wick community hub and live music venue Grow Hackney, said: "Our main attraction is our live events and we put on 200 or so a year. It's a huge industry and I don't really think the government understands the nature of it."

Music venues will have to wait and see what the future holds, but fingers crossed Hackney's most treasured venues will be saved.

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