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UK music industry unites to call for an end to racism

Hundreds of artists, companies, managers, agents, promoters and trade bodies representing the UK music industry have united to call for an end to racism.

They’ve written an open letter to “amplify our voices, to take responsibility, to speak out and stand together in solidarity” and are encouraging fans to use the hashtag #NoSilenceInMusic.

The letter has the backing of some of the biggest names in the industry, including Abbey Road Studios, EMI Records, Polydor, Q Prime, Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK, Warner Records UK, the Music Publishers Association, Music Venues Alliance and the Official Charts Company, while artists including Biffy Clyro and Placebo have added their voices.

The letter reads: “We, representatives from the music industry, write to demonstrate and express our determination, that love, unity and friendship, not division and hatred, must and will always be our common cause.

“In recent months through a series of events and incidents, the anti-black racists and antisemites, plus those who advocate islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia, have repeatedly demonstrated that they clearly want us all to fail. 

“Whether it be systemic racism and racial inequality highlighted by continued police brutality in America or anti-Jewish racism promulgated through online attacks, the result is the same: suspicion, hatred and division. We are at our worst when we attack one another.

“Minorities from all backgrounds and faiths have struggled and suffered. From slavery to the Holocaust we have painful collective memories. All forms of racism have the same roots – ignorance, lack of education and scapegoating. 

“We, the British music industry are proudly uniting to amplify our voices, to take responsibility, to speak out and stand together in solidarity. Silence is not an option.

“There is a global love for music, irrespective of race, religion, sexuality and gender. Music brings joy and hope and connects us all. Through music, education and empathy we can find unity. We stand together, to educate and wipe out racism now and for our future generations.”

In June this year, dozens of labels came together for “Black Out Tuesday” – a day to “disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.