Today, we thought we would start taking a look at how the music industry workers are supported throughout the world. Although live industry has been the most impacted, the whole music business is experiencing a lot of trouble. Plans are getting set up by governments, not only for music, but also to maintain small businesses and independent workers. We’ll focus on funds destined to music, but keep in mind this process keeps moving, we might need some of your insights to complete our list!
And I’d like to begin with a worldwide help provided by MusiCares; you can apply to the program COVID-19 Relief Fund. They started with a $2 million fund, and now major actors from the music industry are joining the initiative to support mainly the music industry actors who were impacted by the live shows cancellations.
For the rest of this week’s article, I’ll go through the solutions put in place following the regions. Find yours and see the links that could interest you. And most importantly, as usual, stay safe!
Financial help for music industry workers in America
Before getting into the options you might have over there, know that an open letter destined to Trump and Congress was sent by Music Artists Coalition (MAC) last week. The goal: getting help for an industry facing, I quote, an “existential threat”.
If you’re a US resident, you should find a lot of solutions in this Resources for music businesses and industry workers article on NPR. Among other options found in this article, as music industry workers dedicated to recorded music, you can turn to Sound Royalties, to apply to their no-cost funding program. A2IM should come up with solutions too, regarding sound royalties to give a hand to labels. For all help you could be looking for in the US, turn to this NPR article, or to Billboard, enumerating solutions by state and always updated.
As for Canada, you can find the resources you can access right here. For now, we can’t rely on many funds, but the Canadian Live Music Association published their requests for the live industry and workers forced to stay home. On a more local point of view, Manitoba Music has launched a relief fund for music industry companies, allowing micro-donations. To keep an eye on their evolution, here is a summary of what they’ve been doing. Finally, the National Arts Center and Facebook Canada announced $100,000 to help music performers.
The most reactive: Financial support for music industry workers in Europe
For this part, a lot of different approaches are taken. We won’t go through it country by country, as the main initiatives have already been gathered by medias and global organizations.
First off, UK Music gives us all the advices to stay safe and the financial helps you might need as a music industry worker. If you’re working independently in the UK, take a look at what Musicians’ Union can offer you. To complete, AIM has put together all the resources to guide you through this time. Take the time to look at the financial assistance by the UK government: interrupting loans and taxes, small businesses grant fundings and Statutory Sick Day paiement. All in all, Music Week’s tribune wrote by Mark Sutherland is clear: self-employed music industry workers need more to keep going today.
As for France, all redistribution will be kept as usual for artists. Plus, last week, a fund was put together to bring financial assistance to music industry workers by the newly created National Council for Music. To go even further, if you’re looking for ways to manage your SME, here is a useful guide by BPI France (in French).
As for the rest of actions taken on national and european levels, I can only advise you to bookmark this page: COVID-19 Live Music Sector. You’ll get a good overview of how the crisis is dealt with within Europe.
The first impacted: what happens in Asia for the music industry?
In Asia, very few initiatives are to be outlined. Although huge losses were announced, not all countries took the same level of a hit. But, if we consider Singapore’s creative industry loss estimated at more than $18 million, there are a lot of music industry workers who need to get back on track.
Well, we found two funds set up to help the artistic community. The first would be the Support Scheme for Arts & Cultural Sector, by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. A funds at $55 million to help the creative industry, to which workers in the cultural sector will have to apply. The second one was launched by Singapore, to help arts and culture. A fund of $1,6 million has been unlocked to provide trainings and payments during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Financial help for music industry workers in Africa
As for Africa, there aren’t a lot of initiatives taken by the governments. You can get some reactions from the artists and music professionals themselves here. And yet, events are still being cancelled over there too, in several countries, calling for precaution in the public. Finally, South Africa declared a lockdown in the country yesterday, after crossing the bar of 400 hundred cases.
As you can see, so far a few initiatives have been created to help music industry workers (primarily within the live industry). We will try to update this article as we go. Although I can’t pretend to gather every financial support solutions, I’ll try to give you an overview of the main ones. Don’t hesitate to reach out to add a new one!