The extraordinary things musicians are doing to survive the pandemic


It’s no exaggeration to say that the past year has been catastrophic for Britain’s musicians.

A recent industry report* predicted music creators will lose at least 65% of their income due to the pandemic.

For megastars like Ed Sheeran, who raked in £70m in 2019 alone, that might not be such a problem.

The vast majority of musicians and songwriters though are far from rich. According to ONS**, the typical musician scrabbles to make ends meet, earning around £23,000 before the pandemic.

Faced with meagre streaming payments from platforms like Spotify, most rely on live music events to keep them financially afloat.

However, the cancellation of gigs and the enforced closure of music venues throughout 2020 has led many artists to question whether they can keep going with their mental health suffering as a result.

To make up for the lack of tours and live shows, some have turned to the internet to earn a crust – holding private virtual concerts from their living rooms, selling merchandise via social media platforms or by embracing side hustles, such as online music lessons.

Others have signed up to digital platforms like Bandcamp where they can get paid directly for their music.

An intrepid few have even started to experiment with new platforms like CRS which allows fans to buy crypto tokens that will give them special access to artists’ work, merchandise and post-Covid gigs.

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