Musicians lose £13.9m due to Covid-19 outbreak – poll

Musicians have lost an estimated £13.9 million in earnings due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Musicians’ Union (MU).

A poll commissioned by the union – the results of which were collected on Friday – suggests that nine in 10 of those working in the UK music industry have been affected, with job opportunities down by 69% on this time last year.

It also indicates that musicians working in live performance report the highest amount of lost earnings, with teaching and orchestral also affected due to social distancing and school closures.

The MU surveyed 4,100 of its members between March 18 and 20.

In response, the union has launched a coronavirus hardship fund, which will offer £200 grants to those facing financial difficulty due to the outbreak.

General secretary Horace Trubridge 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.

“Already, we have seen job opportunities drop by more than two-thirds, and sadly this will only accelerate.

“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 play its part too.”