Should there be a subsidy for popular music?

Heavy metal band Savage Messiah is getting $25,000 from the British taxpayers to go on tour.

“In Britain, government subsidies for the arts have traditionally been focused on ballet, opera and theater. But now, they are giving a boost to a rather less exalted area of creativity: thrash metal bands, acid punk and nu-grunge groups,” writes Marketplace’s Stephen Beard

The aim is to promote British musical talent abroad by subsidising the cost of mounting a foreign tour. The grants – which have so far totaled more than three quarters of a million dollars – have caused outrage in conservative circles and have stirred criticism from low-tax campaigners.

The bands say they need state aid because they’re losing money from illegal downloads. And the only way to make a decent living is to break through into the live touring circuit.

Today’s Question: Do you support a subsidy for popular music?