How the Pandemic is Affecting Emerging Musicians
As we all know the ongoing pandemic has drastically changed our everyday lives. And although it seems we are taking slow steps down the path to normality one of the biggest industries to be affected by this is the music industry.
We don’t think anyone could envisage a situation where there would be a ban on all live shows. Gigs and festivals offer such a unique and memorable experience and often are what we’re all looking forward to throughout the year. On the other hand, for artists, this is arguably the worst possible scenario and one that none of them were ready for. Live Nation, who were one of the first organisations to postpone all of their gigs, have stated they hope to resume concerts at “full scale” in the third and fourth quarter of 2021. Which will be a torturous wait for any musician.
With all concerts and festivals being canceled for the foreseeable future it’s beginning to take a toll on the up-coming artists over the world who rely on touring meticulously to make most of their money. Independent artists who don’t have the machine of a major label behind them are starting to struggle, this pandemic could throw away huge amounts of potential due to the fact that without touring it’s difficult for artists to stay financially afloat. Given that The Music Industry Investigative report revealed that just 17% of musicians said that they were not always able to pay their bills every month even before COVID-19, it's quite startling to think about what those numbers maybe today.
Live Nation, who were one of the first organisations to postpone all of their gigs, have stated they hope to resume concerts at “full scale” in the third and fourth quarter of 2021. Which will be a torturous wait for any musician.
The one thing artists have been able to do more of is make music. With this excess of time on their hands, there has been a surge of users on music distribution services such as TuneCore and United Masters uploading music at a never before seen rate. It may seem obvious but the best thing an up-coming artist can do right now is to keep on releasing music, and try to reach as big of an audience as possible while they have the time to do so.
Looking on the bright side, many independent artists tried to make the most of the circumstances and began doing live performances via streaming. Although it’s not the colossal moneymaker that is live touring, it’s given artists a great way to interact with their fan bases without having to be directly in front of them. It’s clear that the smaller artists using this tool are really trying to keep a strong connection with their fanbase and cultivate it even further which in turn will hopefully support them during these unprecedented times.
Luckily, there are still ways to support your favourite artists in these dire times, one of the best ways to help out is buying their merch. Many artists who had tours planned will have made huge orders on tour merch which they would have expected to sell at their upcoming shows. However, due to their cancellation, they are now stuck with endless amounts of merch and a huge financial loss. Buying a t-shirt from an artist you love could go a long way in ensuring they continue to make music and remain in a financially stable situation to do so.
Although it would be understandable for any musician to take a break right now in favour of financial stability, equally we have every hope that emerging artists will bounce back and be able to show their talents in the flesh, as we slowly return to normality.
Words by Chris Saunders
Graphics by Georgia Walters