There was more Rattlemania in the Guardian on the 4th March 2014, with coverage of Simon Rattle and the Leader column exclaiming “Simon Rattle’s return can be good for music, for London and the national status of the arts”.

Rattlemania egged on by a self-interested cultural mafia has got out of hand. The problem with the arts in the UK is there is no concrete policy for music and the other art forms.

The opera companies, the orchestras, the national companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, like the banks, are too big to fail.  The brunt of the cost of this deluded  exercise of a new concert hall for London will fall on the smaller companies and art forms. Meanwhile pubs are closing at the rate of 30 a day and musicians coming out from colleges and conservatoires are finding  it increasingly difficult to find work.

Even with a cut in ENO funding opera funding increased from £50.5 million in 2012/13 to £59.2 million in 2015/16.  Classical musics funding was reduced from £18.9 million in 2012/13 to £16.9 million in 2015/16.  Jazz increased its overall funding from £1.25 million in 2012/13 to a derisory £1.67 million in 2015/16. For the avoidance of doubt the audience for opera is 1.67 million attenders, for classical music 3.29 million and for jazz 2.67 million.

A policy for the arts would identify nationally and regionally what resources are required and ensure equitable distribution of funding. London does not need another concert hall what the country needs is a chain of publicly funded small scale venues in town centres that caters for jazz, folk, indie, urban and other musics.

Attached documents (click to download)

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