I recently performed in a show titled 'Empty Spaces' at Brit Kids, London playing the role of a pop singer adapting to life during the pandemic. My character, Alex went through the hardships that so many people in the music industry experienced like cancelled performances, loss of earnings etc and the emotions they stir up. However the play also explored some of the positive changes and progressive outcomes for not only my character and her industry but other characters in the play. I found this really inspirational and wanted to look at the positive impact the changes we have been forced to make during the Covid 19 pandemic have had on the music industry. As a musician during Covid 19, it is clear that the coronavirus has changed lots of things about this industry. From the loss of work to the lack of performances, the music industry is still struggling after Covid 19. I decided to research more into this and asked other musicians about their experience with the coronavirus.
The coronavirus has affected all industries in lots of different ways. People had to quickly adapt to working from home and not being able to see customers face to face. Even though people have gone back to work now there are still some lingering affects but although many are still reeling from the shock of the magnitude of the pandemic are there some rays of positivity that we can focus on that are shining through from changes in the music industry?
My results have shown that 70% of the musicians I questioned had experienced loss of work and 20% of people actually said they had considered giving up music as a career during the pandemic. According to the BBC in an article written by Mark Savage, one in three musicians are unemployed now after Covid 19 as they can not find places to play. While this only covers the performance side of the music industry, it speaks volumes and gives us an insight as to how big the number of struggling musicians could be.
One person told me that “I had to go and get a job in a local shop to make ends meet when lockdown happened. As a self-employed person, there was no furlough and we were shut for months so there was no free time to learn new skills as I had to find work.” However another person said the opposite “Things did not really affect me too much, as I focus on Mixing and Mastering for clients worldwide. I also found myself rather booked up still, which has continued to increase. I am very thankful for that.”
There is no denying that for many people in the music industry like so many other industries, the aftershocks of the pandemic will be shaking us for a while. However through those black clouds of negatives can we see silver linings? One of those unexpected benefits was that with more people having spare time , there were more people listening to music. 50% of the people I questioned said that they had more listeners during lockdown with 30% of people saying they had over 100 more. Also being stuck at home meant musicians had more time to focus on their art and many were forced to explore new methods of collaborating and sharing performances. Some examples of the things people did are: online performances, online classes and workshops, learned a new musical skill, released more songs and wrote more songs.
In conclusion, I believe that the pandemic has created some benefits for the music industry. Being in lockdown meant musicians started to collaborate online more, had more time for songwriting, attended online workshops and classes and did more online performances. This has then helped increase their fanbases and overall benefitted the music industry.