Survey: One-Third of British Musicians Say They Might Quit Due to COVID-19 Hardships & Uncertainty

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

This week brought with it a concerning study from the U.K. concerning the future of musicians and the music industry as a whole, which has been devastated (like so many other things) by the COVID-19 pandemic of the past few months.

In a survey of 2,000 members of the Musicians’ Union, 34 percent — roughly one-third of those polled — said they are “considering abandoning the industry completely” because of the current situation, which has left many out of work, per the Guardian.

More, from the Guardian:

Almost half have already found work outside their industry, and 70% are unable to do more than a quarter of their usual work. Eighty-seven per cent of musicians covered by furlough and self-employment support schemes say they will face financial hardship when the schemes are due to end in October.

Of course, many artists the world over have taken to staging live stream concert events in place of actual, in-person events, though that’s been a difficult road map to sustained success given the circumstances.

As reported by the Guardian:

The Musicians’ Union is proposing a “2-for-1” scheme similar to the government’s eat out to help out scheme, in which the government would underwrite the cost of a second seat at a concert – effectively allowing those seats to be removed or blocked to ensure social distancing. But as the UK anticipates more stringent measures to contain the virus, Trubridge says: “It’s all looking extremely bleak again. We’d love to have a date we can move to stage five of the roadmap, where indoor music can occur without social distancing, but that seems a long way off with the current state of the pandemic.”

Musicians including Nick Cave, Laura Marling, Bicep and Sleaford Mods have turned to ticketed livestreams to make money during the pandemic, but Trubridge warned that with other stars performing for free online, “it’s very difficult for a jobbing musician to compete with that”.

It’s no secret that of all the industries negatively impacted by the pandemic, lockdown restrictions and everything else we’ve all dealt with since March, live music has been hit exceptionally hard. Bands and artists can’t tour, save from drive-in experiences (which just aren’t the same thing and are a lot of work to get right given the restrictions in place).

Stateside, NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association that sprang up in an effort to ensure independent music venues survive the pandemic, feared in early June that as much as 90 percent of those venues will have to close due to COVID-19, barring any further financial help from the government.

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