(Hypebot) — According to a recent study conducted by Encore Musicians, the music business in the UK is in such dire straights (curtesy of the pandemic) that up to 64% of musicians are considering leaving the industry for good.
Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix
A survey conducted by the online booking platform Encore Musicians has revealed that the UK music industry is in a state of crisis as a result of the pandemic.
COVID-19‘s impact on the music business is far-reaching, and it will be years before we fully understand the scope of damage caused by the latest global pandemic. Countless jobs are gone, thousands of gigs canceled, and no one can tell us when things will improve. People are clinging to hope that life will return to ‘normal’ sooner than later, but a new report from the UK reveals a scary fact that the business needs to confront.
Encore Musicians, a service that helps artists book gigs, recently surveyed almost 600 musicians about the ongoing pandemic. The results found that more than half of those who participated, 64%, are considering leaving the music business. That statistic may not hold true against all musicians around the world, but it does make clear a sobering truth: Even when things go back to the way they were, many musicians and professionals won’t be around.
It’s not hard to understand how we got here. Most musicians make their money from performing, but concerts no longer exist. Retailers are closed, which is hurting physical media. Streaming consumption is steady, but the royalty payments most artists receive cannot cover their bills.
On the professional side, thousands of jobs no longer exist, and countless venues are in danger of closing before the year ends. Of those still working, many are taking pay cuts that may be permanent.
When COVID finally subsides, who will be left to fill venues, and where will they play? Fans will be as demanding as ever, but will artists want to sacrifice their lives all over again? Many have found temporary jobs that offer better pay, more benefits, and time with family that touring can never allow. Others have discovered new passions and set to making them a career. Will the allure of performing be enough to pull them back to the open road? Only time will tell.
As for the business side of things, jobs will take a long time to return, if ever. Many companies are adapting to the new normal by shedding their costly office space and restructuring whatever roles are left to cover more needs. Growth moving forward will be entirely dependent on need rather than ‘the way its always been,’ and it will take time to gauge the need for more employees once the pandemic ends.
The best anyone can do is to practice empathy. Working in music is a calling for most, and virtually everyone is struggling right now. We cannot solve the problems of the world or ease the minds of consumers, but we can take care of one another. We deserve that much, and it’s on us to deliver.
James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.