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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | June 5, 2020

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Eight Ways to Support The Music Industry During COVID-19.

Eight Ways to Support The Music Industry During COVID-19.
Shona Scalia

With festivals, concerts and gigs being cancelled indefinitely, the entertainment industry is going through one of its toughest times due to COVID-19.

From artists to booking agents to backstage crews, the industry is made up of many people that have had almost everything taken from them. Now is the time to band together and help support the hardworking creatives in the music industry. Whether you are a fan, an artist or just a music lover, this list will outline what actions you can take to help keep the music industry alive now and in the future.

1. Buy Albums and Merch

Was your favourite concert, festival or gig cancelled and you were dying to get the hoodie with their album cover or logo on the front? Why not buy it straight from the artists’ or festivals’ website? Not only are you supporting the artist, band or festival by directly contributing to their business, but you can also wear it to their next event. Purchasing directly from artists’ official websites or through portals such as Bandcamp are great ways to ensure the creators receive the bulk of the purchase price. It also appears many people are jumping on this bandwagon. According to Bandcamp, fans have bought more than fifteen times the average amount of music and merch from the website, totalling 800,000 items worth more than four million dollars.

2. Donate

Every dollar counts. Consider donating a portion of your refunded ticket money to the artist or gig that had to cancel and refund their entire event. Support Act have started a COVID-19 Emergency Appeal which allows people to make donations of any size to contribute to the Australian music industry and those who’ve lost work due to the pandemic.

3. Hang onto your tickets for rescheduled dates

Has the gig, concert, or festival that you were looking forward to being postponed until later in the year? Instead of getting a refund for those tickets, just hold onto them and use them on the rescheduled date. By keeping your ticket, you keep funds in the industry when it is most needed. It also means the artist doesn’t need to start from scratch by marketing and promoting again when the event reopens; therefore saving precious money, time and resources which is very limited at the moment. It is also a win for you. Not only can you still go along to the festival, concert or gig; imagine how good it will be once everyone is out of quarantine and can be back together again.

 

4. Stream or (even better) buy artists music

If you aren’t in a position to spend a larger sum of money, by streaming music you can still do your bit to support your favourite artist or band. A huge benefit of streaming is also the share-ability which can increase a musician’s exposure and can give them the potential to reach people even whilst they aren’t performing at a live show. If you are looking for artists to support, I Lost My Gig have a continuously updated playlist of artists that have been directly impacted by the pandemic. However, if you want to take it one step further and have a little more cash to spend, directly buying the music and albums is even better. According to SoundCharts, if an artist is facing $10,000 in touring losses and sells their album for 10 dollars apiece, only 1,000 fans would have to buy that record to cover the cost. However, to cover that same $10,000 by just streaming the music, fans would need to generate over one and a half million streams.

5. Stay engaged

Many artists and bands are getting creative with their outlets by involving themselves in live stream concerts, live performances on Instagram TV and engaging in virtual music festivals. By supporting these live concerts and staying engaged, it will make it easier for the artist to transition from quarantine to a post-Coronavirus future. Most of these live virtual concerts or festivals are being put on for free, and although it may not be the same as being there, artists are still using up resources and their time. Therefore, donating to these concerts goes a long way and assures the artist there are still people out there supporting them.

6. Be aware and spread the word

I Lost My Gig is tallying the impact on the music industry due to the cancellation and postponement of hundreds of concerts, events, and festivals across Australia. Currently, the mass restrictions due to the Coronavirus have caused $330 million in losses for performers, production, crew, hospitality workers, managers, booking agents and everyone in between. By being aware of the numbers and the people affected, it helps to raise awareness about this fragile industry and calls on Federal and State Governments to put in place immediate and direct financial support to ease the losses. By sharing and posting about the number of losses and reading stories about how creatives have been affected, it generates a conversation and helps others become aware of the situation.

7. Know the resources available

If you are an artist or band that has lost their concert or gig, there are tons of resources available through many organisations and the State and Federal Government. These resources are listed on the I Lost My Gig website and include links to general government aid packages and more specific packages to suit the different groups affected. Moreover, getting in contact with your State and Federal members and writing a letter to show your support for the proposed bailout package can be beneficial. Support Act also have a well-being helpline for music and performing-arts workers you can call 24 hours a day.

8. Money isn’t everything

Perhaps the easiest and most worthwhile thing to do is to reach out to your favourite artists and bands directly. Tell them why their music means something to you and what the best way is to support them during this time. Sydney duo band Baby Beef said “It may seem silly or small, but your expression of love could very much keep someone going during these initial stages of figuring things out”.

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