The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran and Annie Lennox are among 1,500 musicians who have signed a letter appealing to the UK government to help Britain’s live music sector as it struggles with the impact of Covid-19.

Rita Ora, Coldplay, and Sam Smith have also lent their support, warning that the UK could lose prominence in global pop and rock unless the government steps in financially and with a devised timetable for reopening live music venues.

According to the musicians' written plea, addressed to the culture secretary Oliver Dowden, venues face mass insolvencies, with thousands of jobs threatened.

Ed Sheeran is among the signatories to the letter

"Live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade," the letter says.

"But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.

"Until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and the end of this world-leading industry."

Iron Maiden, George Ezra, Lewis Capaldi, Depeche Mode, and Little Mix also number among the signatories, many of whom were scheduled to perform this summer at festivals in Britain, including Parklife, Glastonbury, and All Points East.