We’ve a demand that we should be subsidising pop music in the same manner that we do opera and the like. Something more than a little ridiculous given that pop music is meant to be commercial – the clue’s rather in the name there, popular. Thus, if you’re making something which is meant to be popular and you can’t snare a shilling or two while doing so then you shouldn’t be doing it at all, should you? Your production is, you know, unpopular therefore bad by the standards of this genre?
The Arts Council is spending too much money on “posh” opera and giving other music genres a raw deal, a leading figure in the British music industry has claimed.
For every £1 awarded to pop music, £8 goes to opera companies – a situation that is “manifestly unjust” according to UK Music, the umbrella organisation that represents the commercial music industry.
Michael Dugher, the former Labour MP and chief executive of UK Music, complained that the Arts Council risks being seen as “too posh for pop” and called for an urgent review of funding arrangements.
There’s an amusement that opera etc were in fact the popular musics of their day but that’s another matter. Now they’re determinedly uncommercial and thus exist only with that subsidy arrangement. Sure, it’s correct that we should abolish the entire system and if the toffs want their arias then they can pay for them themselves. But subsidising today’s avowed pop music would be ludicrous. The very fact that it needs subsidy would show that it’s bad pop music.
Besides, everyone knows that pop band subsidy belongs in the aid development budget, not the arts one.