Musicians across the UK have so far lost an estimated £13.9 million in earnings due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research.
The survey from the Musicians’ Union, which had around 4,100 respondents, found 90% had already been negatively affected by Covid-19 and that job opportunities are down 69% compared to the same time last year.
According to the findings, gigging and live performances is the area that has seen the highest number of musicians reporting loss of earnings as a result of Covid-19. Teaching and orchestral work also had a significant downturn due to social distancing measures, the research found.
In light of these figures, the MU has launched a fund to support members who have been negatively affected and is calling on the government and record industry to do more to support freelances through this period.
From today (March 23), the Musicians’ Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund will offer £200 grants to musicians who are facing financial difficulty in the wake of Covid-19.
The union is working with other organisations including collection society PRS for Music and Help Musicians UK.
Horace Trubridge, general secretary of the Musicians’ Union, said: “Music is one of the few certainties we can rely on to provide happiness and relief in tumultuous times.
“But musicians – whether they work in theatre, teaching, orchestras, gig-playing – will feel the full financial force of this global disaster.
He added: “Whether it’s the closure of venues, cancelling of events or closing of schools, there will be huge ramifications for musicians – many of whom are self-employed and have zero support to fall back on.
“We hope this fund goes some way to providing a small amount of relief to our members, but we urgently need the government to provide clarity on what wider support will be available and we call on the record industry to also play its part.”