Supporting the music industry during Coronavirus (Covid-19)

25 marzo, 2020
Jazz FM's guide on how to support jazz musicians and the music industry in a challenging time. Originally published on Jazz FM Radio.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is clearly having a huge impact on people and economies across the world. One of the industries which is taking an immediate hard hit is the music and entertainment industries.

We realise that many musicians, DJs, festivals, gigs and the like are being heavily affected by the virus. In response to this, the Jazz FM team wants to do what we can to support the musicians who are the lifeblood of everything we do.

This is our guide to the ways in which we can all continue to support the industry which we cherish and love.

Purchasing music and supporting artists:

With gigs, the festival season and live performances currently in jeopardy, it is more important than ever to financially support musicians and artists within our means as fans.

Particularly in the light of Record Store Day 2020 being pushed back until at least June (which often provides a huge boost to musicians), it is vital to keep on purchasing music; artists have spent countless hours and often significant funds to create the tracks and albums for us all to enjoy. Equally, it’s important supporting artists through buying merchandise, as this has become another key outlet for revenue over the past few years.

The best way to do this is through buying it directly through their websites or through outlets such as Bandcamp – who aim to create the best service for artist and labels to share and earn money from their music (with 80-85% of the money going to the artist).

We understand that everyone is not able to do financially contribute, but for those who are able to support the musicians we can help offset the shockwaves created by the current situation.

  Liv WarfieldONLINE STORE | New single, ‘Mantra’ NOW AVAILABLE

  Candy DulferONLINE STORE

  Julia BielONLINE STORE | New album, «Black & White Vol. 1» OUT NOW! 

  Indra Rios-MooreONLINE STORE

  Incognito | BUY ON SOUNDCLOUD | New album, «Tomorrow’s New Dream» OUT NOW!

  Laurin TaleseBUY ON AMAZON

  Mica Paris | BUY ON iTUNES

  Tortured Soul | BUY ON iTUNES

As everyone cannot financially support artists during these times, there are other ways in which you can help, such as following and subscribing to artist’s social media channels and mailing lists. In this way, we can continue to communicate and engage with the musicians we love.

Supporting venues:

With the announcement that venues and other public areas should be avoided, it is also of prime importance to support venues in anyway we can – as these are vital cultural institutions to the music and creative industries.

Although this is difficult to do, with many gigs and events being cancelled, it is crucial that fans continue to support live venues if they can. Make sure to research your favourite venues and subscribe to venue membership support pages:

  Southbank Centre

  Sage Gateshead

  Vortex Jazz Club

Subscribing and donating to these institutions, as well as music charities, could be critical in these uncertain times.

It is also very important for anyone with tickets and events already booked, not to ask for refunds. Scores of promoters and venues are requesting that music fans wait until events and gigs are rescheduled, as this will help their revenue streams and potentially provide a lifeline for them, as well as the teams linked to the creation of live shows.

Support and advice for UK-based musicians:

There are various organisations and charities which are offering help and support to musicians.

On the 23rd of March, the Musicians’ Union have launched a new hardship fund, in light of UK musicians have already lost an estimated £14 million due to the pandemic.

The union’s hardship fund will begin to offer £200 grants to those who are facing financial difficult in the wake of COVID-19.

If you are a member of the Musicians’ Union, you can read their advice guideline here.

Arts Council England is one of the outlets UK artists can turn to for help. The organisation has announced their first steps, in ensuring a strong cultural sector, is supporting working «artists, freelancers and publicly funded organisations». The organisation is offering some grant programmes to help compensate «individual artists and freelancers for lost earnings». They are currently in the process of organising how this will work.

You can find out more from Arts Council England here.

Help Musicians is another organisation which offers help and support for professional musicians of all genres. They offer to help at time of crisis, as well as extra support at crucial stages in musicians’ careers.

The independent charity has offered the following statement: «Many musicians may be fearful of the implications COVID-19 could have on their own health and their performance and teaching commitments, which in turn might have an impact on a range of issues, including finances and mental health.»

Help Musicians have created a rolling information page to find sources of support, which is available here.

Another avenue for support is the Musicians’ Union. The union has provided a guide of steps for members to follow in cases where members are refused work for «health concerns, or their right to be paid for work which has been cancelled by their employer or engager due to issues related to COVID-19».

There is also information available from the Incorporated Society for Musicians as well as The Association of Independent Professionals and Self-Employed which could help during these times.

Spotify has also launched today the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project, which recommends verified organizations that offer financial relief to those in the music community most in need around the world.

While streaming still gives artists a way to connect with their fans, so many other sources of revenue have been put on hold by this crisis.

Through the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project, the streaming giant will partner with various music charities —starting with MusiCares, PRS Foundation, and Help Musicians— to advise artists on seeking financial relief. Spotify will also match donations to those charities (via its dedicated page) up to $10 million, according to their press release.

A New Spotify for Artists Feature:

Spotify is also working diligently to launch a feature that will enable artists to fundraise directly from fans during this challenging time. Soon, they will give artists the ability to drive listeners to a fundraising destination of their choice on their Spotify artist profile pages.