One in five musicians fear they will have to abandon their career due to the financial impact of Covid-19, according to new research from the Musicians’ Union.
The survey of 1,459 MU members also found that two in five (38%) of respondents are not eligible for the government’s financial assistance schemes.
Of those who do qualify, a quarter said they would still struggle to survive financially in the interim period before they receive payments.
Gaps identified by the union in the government’s current support scheme include those for whom self-employed work counts for less than 50% of their income, people who have been self-employed for less than a year and those who run their business as a limited company.
The union is calling for more support for those affected, including measures such as a method for musicians who are part self-employed to access the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and for the removal of the £50,000 earnings cap.
Concerns have also been raised by the MU that musicians who have taken time out for maternity leave are also being disadvantaged.
Musicians’ Union general secretary Horace Trubridge said: “We risk facing a devastating impact on the music industry. From providing us with the joy of live music, to teaching our children, musicians play a huge part in our everyday lives and to wipe out a fifth of that will have unimaginable consequences.
“We’ve seen other countries recognise this and, importantly, act. In Germany, the total package for the arts is worth £46.3 billion, with the government also promising financial support to micro-businesses of up to five employees.”
Trubridge added: “Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland have all announced funds and aid packages for the sector.
“We are calling on our government to take action by reassessing its SEISS package and considering how else it can help a sector that is so vital to our national community.”