Save the BBC! Why it is so important for musicians at all levels

Blog by Musicians' Union under Media

“A world without the BBC, well, it just doesn’t bear thinking about does it” – New Order 

BBC 6 Music. It’s worth 40p a day right?

We think so. 

That’s before you include Radios 1, 1Xtra, 2, 3 and the Asian Network. Plus all the other radio and TV channels that create opportunities for musicians. From playing the Live Lounge or Later With Jools Holland, to writing and composing for Doctor Who or The Great British Bake Off, music is everywhere at the BBC. 

And so are MU members. The BBC is the single biggest employer of our members in the UK – add to those artists, writers and composers over 400 musicians in the BBC’s orchestras and hundreds more musicians who work on a freelance basis. 

It also supports the best emerging talent in the UK through platforms like BBC Introducing and the Sound Of… competition. Winners and runners up may have had dedicated fans and music aficionados on side, but it’s the BBC’s annual poll of critics and industry figures that made these acts mainstream. Previous winners include 50 Cent, Keane, Corinne Bailey Rae, Mika, Adele, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J, Haim, Sam Smith and Years and Years. Others in the top 5 since it started more than a decade ago include Dizzee Rascal, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Plan B, Enter Shikari, Foals, La Roux, Chvrches, Ella Eyre and George Ezra. Being on the shortlist can make your career. That shows the power of the BBC.   

So when the Government published a Green Paper questioning the role of the BBC and how it does what it does, alarm bells started ringing. We are concerned that the BBC’s funding will be cut again, or that it will be significantly downsized. 

The effect that this might have on employment opportunities for musicians could be catastrophic. So will the effect on the diversity of music available to everyone in the UK. 

If you love the BBC, get involved in the fight to save it. 

Sign the #LetItBeeb petition, calling on Government to protect BBC music services.  

It’s not the BBC, it’s our BBC. 


bbc introducing, bbc radio 1, bbc radio 2, bbc 6music, sound of bbc competition, letitbeeb, musicians union


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