The Coronavirus pandemic has heavily impacted the music industry, as all music venues were forced to close and all scheduled live gigs and tours were cancelled worldwide. According to an article in Music Business Worldwide, by mid March 2020 it was estimated that in the UK alone, music artists and managers had lost over £50 million in expected revenue.
So how have musicians coped during this quarantine period? Major Artists such as Billie Eilish have rescheduled their tours and shows to 2021 and festivals such as Glastonbury, have also taken the same approach (Glasto 2020 will now take place from 23rd – 27th June 2021).
Independent musicians and artists, not signed to major record or publishing labels have had to find other, sometimes more creative ways to sustain income streams. Teaching online has been a very reliable source for many musicians especially those who already had students as many quickly adapted to online lessons. Private and larger educational organisations such as ICMP have also had to move their lectures online to ensure continuity for the benefit of their students and to keep their teachers in work.
Many performing musicians and artists have organised their own home concerts via platforms such as zoom, vimeo, facebook and instagram live and also live gig streaming services have surfaced such as The Floor, which is similar to Patreon but champions emerging independent artists.
When lockdown first started many musicians I spoke with struggled not only financially but their well-being was impacted, as set plans for 2020 had been so abruptly disrupted. The general consensus within the music community is that it has been a time for reflection, rest and creativity and whichever ways musicians have chosen to live within this time of enforced social distancing, music has played a very pivotal role in keeping people connected.
Written by SaraSara Shevlin, Creative Director @ Online Music Exams