Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti has said that mismanagement and a lack of leadership is “costing people their livelihoods” in the music industry.

The Grammy Award-winning Scottish musician told Scala Radio that the prospects for musicians “do not look good” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Benedetti added that it is difficult to speak openly about the issue because “everything has been moralised and politicised so fiercely”.

She said: “I just don’t believe that the route we’ve taken is the best we could have done.

“I think incompetency, vested interests in the wrong areas, I think just a lack of care, a lack of leadership, disorganisation, just bad management I think has gone on left, right and centre and it’s costing people their livelihoods.”

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Musicians work in one of the most heavily restricted industries, she said, adding: “Our prospects do not look good any time soon.

“We can’t see a clear end in sight that provides any sort of working business model.

“It’s not just musicians, it’s everybody involved in that ecosystem.”

Last month, the Government announced a £1.57 billion support package for the arts which will be used to help organisations including music venues, theatres, museums and galleries.

Household names from across Scotland signed a letter calling on the government to support music businesses “before it is too late”.


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The newly established Scottish Commercial Music Industry Taskforce wrote to Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop calling for more money for the music industry, clarity on arts funding and a timeline for venues reopening without social distancing.

Artists who put their name to the letter included KT Tunstall, Mogwai, The Proclaimers, Texas, Biffy Clyro, and Simple Minds.