Musicians in the UK estimated to lose 65% of income in 2020

According to a new report by UK Music, musicians may be losing two-thirds of their income in 2020.

This is due to the shuttering of venues, festivals and live shows. The report states that the figure may be higher – rising to to over 80 percent – for “those most dependent on live performance and recording studio work”. Covid-19 has triggered a “domino effect” within the music industry. Cancelled tours and events have been denying musicians of funds or income that could have been used to hire studios and work on future projects.

Many artists have also struggled to find support and financial aid throughout the pandemic. According to a survey from the Musicians’ Union, which is quoted in the UK Music report, 87 percent of musicians say they will face financial hardship when the furlough schemes come to an end, while one third of musicians did not qualify for support. 

UK Music’s Chief Executive, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, said that the pandemic has been “catastrophic” for the industry. The report includes a comparison to 2019, and highlights how the music industry contributed £5.8bn to the UK economy last year. Revenues were up by 11 percent with exports growing to the value of £2.9bn.

Njoku-Goodwin told the BBC, “We need to make sure that a pandemic that has lasted a year doesn’t have a decade-long impact on the British music ecosystem.”

He added that he was “optimistic and hopeful” about the industry’s recovery once the pandemic is over. “2019 was a fantastic year for the UK music industry, and we were firmly on track to be one of the great British success stories of the coming decade.”

“Even though it hasn’t happened this year, it doesn’t mean we have to start straight away from square one. It doesn’t mean we have to be knocked back five or six or seven years… We can be booming again, we can be growing again, we can be delivering for the UK again.”

UK Music is pushing for measures that will help musicians and the industry to recover. This includes a VAT exemption on concert tickets, government backing for a live music insurance scheme, business rates relief for concert venues and a taskforce to establish protocols on testing and safety at venues.

Head to UK Music to read its Music By Numbers 2020 report. For further resources for artists impacted by coronavirus, take a look at our list.