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Coronavirus and the Music Industry (Impact, How You Can Help, Advice)

As the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19) deepens, the music industry is facing the heat of a worsening situation.

Entering into the New Year is usually an exciting time for the music industry. It should include the latest releases by artists, major festivals for upcoming spring and summer such as Coachella & South by South West.

2020 is very different.

The virus has disrupted the whole music industry bringing operations and activities to a halt. We’ll discuss what’s happening.

Important! For Health and Safety Advice Regarding COVID-19, Make Sure to Check Reliable Sources
Keep up to date with the advice from the World Health Organisation (who.int) and the CDC (cdc.gov). Listen to the advice of your government, foreign affairs office, and health authorities.

The Ultimate Guide for Self-Isolating Musicians and Producers
Stuck at Home? Be sure to read our article: The Ultimate Guide for Self-Isolating Musicians and Producers for some great tips and advice during this challenging time.

Though people can be very resilient in bad situations. Musicians are finding creative ways to collaborate and share their music with others.

In these difficult times, music will play an important role in people’s lives. It will lift spirits, comfort people, and allow them to express their feelings in a positive way. Recent viral videos from Italy are a perfect example of this:

How to Support Artists

Here are just some ways that you can support your local artists

  • Buy music and merchandise.

  • Listen to their music on streaming platforms.

  • Buy their music on bandcamp or itunes.

  • Donate to fundraisers.

  • Don’t take a refund.

(Some of the previous tips are adapted from the following article on abc.net.au, check that post out for more ideas).

Though it’s not just about money. Lift their spirits, promote them, inspire them:

  • Share the artist’s songs or videos on social networks.

  • Add their songs to your playlists on Spotify. If you have a playlist with lots of followers, this could be hugely beneficial to the artist.

  • If you know the artist then call them or send them a message. A simple conversation might be all they need to lift their spirits and inspire them to write a new track or so something productive for their music at this time.

  • Read our article on 8 Tips for Musicians During The Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). Share it with them if you think it would be of help.

The Losses for Live Artists

The widespread of Coronavirus outbreak has urged governments to place travel bans and discourage public gatherings. With Europe in lockdown and international flights being suspended, touring artists are at the losing end of the spectrum.

For the sake of public safety tours, concerts and shows are continuously being canceled one after the other. In the US, Canada and all over Europe, the livelihood of many touring artists is at stake. Many pre-planned tours and shows are being canceled resulting in huge financial losses.

Touring is a major chunk of income source for many artists, therefore, such cancellations have the potential of causing financial strain for many.

Canceled Concerts

Read here for a continuously updated list of cancellations.

  • The English band, Wire had to cancel their tour midway since the crowd wasn’t turning up due to the virus threat.

  • Celine Dion paused her Courage World Tour for two months.

  • David Archuleta postponed his tour hoping to reschedule in the upcoming fall for the sake of public safety.

  • Australian band ‘Good Morning’ had to cancel their tour plans midway putting them at a loss of somewhere around $10,000.

  • Kelly Clarkson and Jonas Brother canceled their Las Vegas residency concerts for public safety.

Canceled Festivals

If music festivals are a crowd-puller and an all-out experience of musical ecstasy for the audience, then they are also a source of major earnings and revenue generation for the organizers, promoters, headlining artists and the bands.

Many states and communities economically thrive from these festivals, since the shows bring business and an economic boost for the locals. Other than the financial aspect and losses, the festivals are a great platform for many artists and musicians to promote their albums and put themselves on the radar of fame and recognition.

Festivals all around the world are being canceled at a swift rate. Just a few to name are:

  • The most hyped and popular music festival of the Colorado desert, ‘the Coachella,’ is postponed until October 2020.

  • South by South West held in March of every year in Austin is canceled putting the organizers in serious financial crisis.

  • All major music festivals planned in the month of March and April are canceled or postponed, for instance, Tomorrowland & Days of Summer Cruise Fest.

  • The concert organizing, promoting giants AEG and Live Nation is pulling the plug on their scheduled tours and concerts

Impact on Music-Related Activities

Small gigs, meetups, and music classes are an active source of income and livelihood for many artists.

Performing in clubs or at private events is completely impossible at this point since all sources of interaction and communication are gradually ceasing to exist in efforts to contain the pandemic.

The major clubs in metropolitans such as, Naples, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Beijing that thrive on international collaborations and performers have gone awfully quiet and are trying to cope with inadvertent losses at this point.

With night clubs going wry and lack of activity due to quarantine and containment, the situation is bleak for artists whose sole cash-source is earned through music-related activities.

The more concerning part of the upheaval of the music industry is the fact that neither the organizers and nor the artists at this point can comprehend the policies regarding insurance cover. These are unprecedented times and the situation is awash with uncertainty.

Finding Order in Chaos

In times as uncertain as these, the music industry has come to a standstill as everything around us goes into a lockdown affecting the core system of the whole sector.

In the face of such calamity, it is important for musicians and artists to not lose hope and stay calm.

The pandemic will have a major effect on many of our lives but here are a few tips that can help you to deal with this outbreak.

  • Don’t put yourself and others at risk; follow the directives of authorities and organizations.

  • Utilize the social distancing to your benefit and let your creative juices flow. Use the time to make some great music!

  • For your events set prior to the pandemic, look into live streaming options and reach out to your audience.

  • Promote your music through efficient social media marketing. Internet is the only communication as we descend into lockdown and limited human interaction.

  • If you teach music, opt for distance learning using skype.

  • Keep in touch with music unions to stay attuned about policy making and other useful information.

    Read more: 8 Tips for Musicians During The Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19).

Music is Resilient

We agree the landscape for the music industry is not looking good. With so many cancellations and complete disruption of events, the music industry has to deal with huge losses and blows at a financial end.

However, let’s not forget that music is meant to lift spirits and comes from a place of hope. Music will live another day and so will the industry.

References

https://www.vulture.com/2020/03/artists-musicians-coronavirus-tour-concert-cancellations-life.html

https://www.residentadvisor.net/features/3636

https://www.vox.com/culture/2020/3/13/21179293/coronavirus-italy-covid19-music-balconies-sing

https://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/Home/Advice/coronavirus

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