Angus Robertson has said proposals for a ticket tax on concerts at some of the country's biggest arenas, are "worthy of further consideration."

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture said “new thinking” was required about how the arts in Scotland was funded. 

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The comment from the minister comes after a call from the Music Venue Trust. 

They have long urged bigger venues to support grassroots venues financially, asking them to make a £1 contribution to its Pipeline Investment Fund for every ticket sold. 

However, they’ve warned that the wider industry has been “far too slow to take action and, in some cases, has actively resisted involvement.”

In France, all major live music events are required to pay 3.5% of each ticket sale to the Centre National De La Musique, which then funds various projects, including  grants for grassroots venues.

Earlier this week, Mark Davyd, the CEO of the trust, said something similar should happen here, suggesting a compulsory levy on every ticket sold for every live music event above 5,000 capacity that takes place in the UK. 

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In Holyrood, the Green MSP Mark Ruskell said the charge could be a “significant funding stream” for grassroots venues. 

He told MSPs: “The Music Venue Trust estimate that a one pound levy on tickets for shows at the two big arenas in Scotland would generate a million pounds a year. 

“The Cabinet Secretary will be aware that AEG entertainment has now announced plans for a new mega venue Edinburgh Park where a pound levy could raise £8,500 for each sold-out show. 

“So does the Government agree that this could really be a significant funding stream where the profits of big culture can be reinvested into grassroots music, arts and cultural venues?” 

The Herald:

Mr Robertson said the Green was “absolutely right to highlight that new thinking is required about funding culture and the arts.” 

He added: “We have gone through a pivot point through the pandemic, there's been a change in social behaviours, and there's been extreme distress in the arts and cultural sector which we acknowledge and we have helped to try and support through this difficult period. 

“So yes, one needs to look with great seriousness at the potential for additional and parallel funding streams, and that's why I think this is one proposal that is worthy of further consideration, and it's something that should be looked at more closely.”