- 22 Sep 20
The Musician's Union are calling on the British government to offer tailored support to industry members suffering during the pandemic.
A new study from the Musicians' Union says that one third of musicians could leave the industry due to losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Union is calling for the UK government to provide greater support for those negatively affected in the industry.
In April, it was revealed that 19% of the Musicians' Union members were thinking about quitting their music careers altogether due to the lack of government support. MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge told NME in an interview that he feared the numbers may be much higher than expected.
New research shows that 34% of musicians are considering abandoning the industry due to losses made during the pandemic, and nearly half of its members already being forced to seek alternative work. The study also reports that 70% of musicians are currently doing less than a quarter of their regular work.
The report goes on to note that 87% of musicians believe they will financially struggle once Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s furlough scheme ends next month, with a whopping 88% share the opinion that the UK government hasn’t done enough to support the music industry through the pandemic.
The Musicians’ Union is requesting the government implements a seat-matching scheme once the government furlough scheme ends, and provide specific support for those unable to get back to work due to coronavirus restrictions.
Speaking of the new research, Trubridge said: “These figures are devastating and show how many musicians are struggling financially and at real risk of leaving music for good. In better times, our members drive a £5bn music industry with their talent. One artist’s gig will create a domino effect of jobs – from lighting technicians to ticket sellers. If one musician is out of work, you can be sure many others will be affected too...We strongly urge the Government to recognise the unique situation that our members are in and to provide sector specific financial support for musicians.”
Meanwhile, in Ireland, over 600 musicians – including U2, Sinead O'Connor and Hozier – have signed an open letter to the Irish government requesting more support for members of the entertainment industry.