Elton John blasts BBC Introducing cuts as ‘a worrying step” and a ‘neglect of musicians’

Elton John joins Nile Rodgers and others in voicing concerns over cuts to BBC Introducing, lamenting the potential loss of support for emerging UK artists.

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Elton John has weighed in on the controversy surrounding cuts to BBC Introducing, branding the decision “a worrying step” reflecting “neglect of musicians.”

At the start of 2023, the BBC’s merging plans of local ‘Introducing’ shows sparked concerns among several influential artists, with John taking to Instagram to express his disquiet.

 

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The situation continues to unfold, casting a shadow over the future of local music support, with many hoping that the BBC will heed the calls from respected figures like Elton. Only time will tell if the corporation’s promises to emerging talents will be kept.


READ MORE: Music organisations express ‘grave concern’ over future of BBC Introducing


“BBC Introducing’s network and support of new music has been one of the best ways for emerging artists to get airplay and find listeners from local to national radio,” he wrote. “I look forward to seeing the BBC make good on their promise to continue to support up-and-coming acts and not compromise the essence of BBC Introducing.”

Nile Rodgers and others speak out

Nile Rodgers, the prominent musician and producer, also chimed in, highlighting the network as “a true outlet to shine a positive light on some of our most creative talent.” He warned that the changes could cause emerging talent and local music scenes to “lose out.”

The restructuring plans will cut BBC Introducing’s local network in England and the Channel Islands from 32 shows to 20, leaving numerous presenters and staff jobless.

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Nile Rodgers has also spoken out against the cuts (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

A campaign for awareness and support

BBC 6 Music broadcaster Tom Robinson has taken a stand, launching a campaign encouraging listeners to support local BBC Introducing presenters, aiming to raise public awareness.

“Those shows, staffed by enthusiasts and volunteers have been supporting local music communities around the country… From August onwards, all that is about to change,” he noted in his blog.

An NME feature offered further insight, suggesting that the “current infrastructure preserves the autonomy of local radio” and warning that the cuts could limit opportunities for aspiring musicians.


READ MORE: Maverick Sabre on Nile Rodgers, Love, and His Teenage Self


Is this a blow to the UK music industry?

Sir Elton John’s concerns echo the sentiments of many in the music industry, worried that these changes may hinder the growth of the UK’s influential music scene. The ‘Rocket Man’ singer concluded: “To stop investing in the future of the UK’s influential music industry whilst cuts are being made to the creative sector across the board would be a worrying step and neglect of musicians who bring culture and capital to the UK at home and abroad.”


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