Amid concerns withing the music industry due to the rapid spread of Coronavirus, bands and artists have been forced to cancel or postpone shows on current tours due to public health concerns.
The latest figures from UK Government state there is now over 11,658 cases confirmed in the UK and over 578 deaths. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put us on lockdown for at least 3 weeks due to people not abiding the social distancing rules.
Stephen Brown, Midlands Regional Organiser for Musicians Union comments on how COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the music industry as events all over the world have had to be cancelled/postponed.
“It’s having a profound impact not only are members experiencing gig, tour, theatre, and teaching work cancellations. We’ve been inundated and are receiving hundreds of calls across the union. Officials dealing with members face to face have also come into contact with those exposed to COVID-19 so some of us have had to be isolated, including me, restricting our ability to assist members in a way.
“Venues and production companies have experienced a drop in ticket sales and attendances and will have to pick up the cost of that somehow. However, the Arts Council has announced some contingency support measures for those organisations they fund but that is just a small part of the overall industry.”Stephen Brown, Midlands Regional Organiser, Musicians Union
The music industry could lose millions due to bans on traveling and social gatherings as tourism is another source of income for the industry as people all over the world travel to gigs and festivals nearly every year. Due to banning all travel to other countries this results in tours being canceled/postponed.
Artists/bands have been hit hard by the pandemic as they rely on tours and merch stands as a source of income, this could see a lot of small artists/bands struggling in the upcoming months.
Indie band CityLightz who are originally from Birmingham told Birmingham Eastside how the pandemic has affected them.
“We were gutted we worked so hard on promoting shows and planned all our marketing around them but we are all in the same boat and the safety of people is more important right now. Lucky for us we all have jobs outside of music that we work hard at as music doesn’t give us a sustainable income.
“The streams have gone up a little bit but nothing major. Be good for Spotify to rotate their playlists put some fresh bands on their for a change. Its hard being a band at the moment as we won’t see eachother now for a month.”CityLightz Band
Due to how contagious the virus is, it has been advised by the government to avoid social gatherings where big crowds are expected due to how easily the virus can spread. All venues are now closed until further notice and some gig promoters have started to announce rescheduled dates for shows.
For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the NHS website and continue to check venues’ social media pages for the latest information on events you may have planned.