As news of potential changes to BBC Introducing reaches an ever-growing audience, a group of music organisations have expressed their “grave concerns” with the BBC over fears that the support for up-and-coming musical talent could be impacted.
In an open letter to BBC’s chairman, Richard Sharp, a number of representatives from organisations including the Music Venue Trust, LIVE and the Association of Independent Music, asked for assurance that BBC Introducing would be protected amid cuts to local stations.
The letter, which was signed by Mark Davyd, CEO of the Music Venue Trust, Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE and the CEO of the Association of Independent Music, Silvia Montello, highlights the platform’s success in helping to launch the careers of some of the UK’s biggest artists.
The representatives also note that BBC Introducing plays a “vital role” in supporting new musical talent in the UK, and provides access routes into the industry, with local and regional opportunities available right across the country.
The letter continued by stating that scrapping the programme “would prove a fundamental blow to the health of the entire grassroots sector”, and asked for “urgent assurance” that the board “understand the vital role of BBC Introducing”.
In response to the letter, a BBC spokesperson later said that the new local radio schedules “will not compromise the essence of BBC Introducing”, and that the intention is to reach more people by featuring Introducing tracks and artists on breakfast shows and creating a dedicated Introducing slot on BBC Sounds.