By Aine McGlinchey
Since March 2020, all live music venues have had to close their doors due the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Musicians, bands and associated services within the industry have all been hit. As a result of the pandemic 64% of musicians are considering leaving their profession, according to a UK Music survey.
It revealed that on average musicians have lost £11,300 in cancelled bookings since March 2020. With the UK music industry employing almost 200,000 full-time jobs contributing to £5.8 billion to the UK economy in 2019. The employment includes sectors in music creators, music retail, recorded music, music representatives, music publishing and live music.
The survey also concluded that 41% of musicians have applied for a non-music job since March. And, for the remainder of 2020 40% of musicians have no bookings in their diary.
The survey was conducted by the online UK musician booking platform Encore Musicians, revealing how devastating the pandemic has been for many people working within the music industry.
Encore CEO and founder James McAulay says “The government must act now to make sure our musicians aren’t left behind.”
As 25% of musicians are not covered by the government’s scheme to help freelancers it has been a frustrating time for the people affected. The study highlights how the government is not doing enough to support musicians during this difficult time.
With 41% respondents having not received any government support and 42% receiving support from non-governmental groups, mainly from the Musicians Unions or the charity Help Musicians UK.
For some musicians lockdown has been a time for them to be creative with what they can do to survive the pandemic while still making money. Many musicians have taken to online platforms to get their music out there by performing live on social media like on Facebook.
Kevin ‘Doc’ McCloskey of the band ‘Doc & Brady’ said he was ‘very happy and content to be providing entertainment for people during lockdown.’
He continued “We had quite a big demand to perform on Facebook, mainly from family and friends. A lot of local musicians started performing live on Facebook and we didn’t really consider it at the start, but as time went on it became something we were providing.”
Any musicians who have not availed of financial support from the government can find more information at https://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/.