The Coronavirus is currently wreaking havoc on the music industry. If you’re a musician and not sure what to do through the COVID-19 pandemic, read our 8 tips for some guidance.
Concerts and festivals around the world are being canceled at a very fast rate (see here for a continuously updated list of cancellations).
We have done our best to provide accurate advice in this article, backed by reputable sources. However, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy of the information presented.
1. Avoiding Large Gatherings: Listen to the Advice of Governments, CDC, and WHO
The World Health Organisation, the CDC, and many governments have issued guidance to cancel events with large numbers of people. Close person-to-person contact dramatically increases the likelihood of contracting the illness. California has issued cancellations of gatherings over 250 people.
Travel restrictions are also sweeping the globe (check here for a good up-to-date list of flight restrictions by country). If you’re planning to tour abroad, you might not be able to get to your destination, or you might be placed on lock-down at your destination.
The WHO has declared the virus as a pandemic. If you have a large gathering planned then you should exercise extreme caution, follow the advice of your government, and if necessary, put serious consideration into canceling it.
2. Follow the Guidance of Musicians’ Unions
Musicians’ Unions are set up to look after the interests of their members. Even if you are not a member, they may still contain very useful advice.
The UK Musicians’ Union has a very useful article, including how COVID-19 will affect your contractual obligations, details about insurance coverage, information about musicians working for theatre, and advice for music teachers.
3. Promote Your Music Online
You might not be able to play that many live shows, however, you can still do some great work connecting with fans online.
We don’t know how long the pandemic is going to last. Maintaining a relationship with your fans may now be more important than ever.
You could put more work into your social network to get a more personal relationship with your fans. You could create or update your music website or online mailing list. You could even think about selling some merchandise.
There are so many different wants to promote your music online. You just need to get a little creative. Check out our music promotion post for more ideas.
4. Create New Music and Collaborate Online
Not being able to play live shows may end up being a blessing for you. During this time you may write or produce your best song yet.
If you’re struggling to say inspired, use Music Collaboration Websites and Apps to connect and create with like-minded musicians online.
5. Get on Spotify Playlists
This could be clumped in with the ‘promote your music online’, but I think it deserves its own heading.
Getting on some big Spotify playlists could be a massive stepping stone in your career. Check out our guide on how to get on Spotify playlists for more information.
6. Stream a Concert Online
Your fans may not be able to attend your concerts in person, but they could do so online!
As the NY times recently reported: “This week a string quartet gathered in the empty, eerily silent theater and played Beethoven, streaming the concert online and winning an ovation of handclap emojis.”
You could even stream a live concert from home or your basement. It won’t be as good as the real thing, but your fans may still love it!
7. Connect and Stay Informed with Other Musicians Online
Even if you have to stay physically isolated, you can keep up to date and bounce ideas with other musicians. Join musician communities on Facebook or other social networks.
There are countless Facebook groups for musicians based on city, country, genre, and instrument. Communities like this are a great way to keep up to date and share ideas with like-minded musicians.
8. Stay Safe
The coronavirus is going to badly affect the music industry. However, the cost to human life and the health of the public is far more important.
3 simple pieces of advice from the World Health Organisation are:
“Clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub”
“Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow”
“Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms”
Follow the advice of your government. Here is the UK government’s advice on staying at home for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus infection.
We are currently in uncharted territory. The world is scrambling to react and the music industry is badly affected, due to crowd and travel restrictions.
I hope that this article has both informed and inspired you on how to get through the coronavirus as a musician.
If you have any ideas or comments, then please share them below.