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Project Revitalise: More than a third of UK music industry workers lost jobs in 2020

The number is 69,000 in total. Due to the crippling financial devastation that COVID caused on the music industry and UK Music, it’s certainly Project Revitalise for our music industry as we long for the return of the numbers we once pre-COVID in 2019.

With hundreds of festivals and music events cancelled and/or postponed – with no valid insurance scheme to fall back on – a wave of job losses surged through with the uptake simply being too much for small to medium promoters and event organisers.

As predicted, the slump was hit the hardest with the live music sector which saw revenues collapse overall by 90% to a mere thousand pounds.

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“We have listened carefully to UK Music’s arguments about a market failure regarding events insurance,” said Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary. “The UK music industry is one of our country’s great national assets, and I give my commitment that the government will continue to back it every step of the way.”

That may be all well and good but with many insurance schemes and crisis funds coming far too late for many, will a financial release from the Government be enough this time around?

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Our music industry is slowly beginning to revitalise itself with the mass sprawls of major festivals returning, international artist tours rekindling music venues and with it, comes the investments of music consumption. But revitalisation as always, starts with you. What will you do to help our UK music industry?

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Global Citizen Live: Did you Watch it?

Defend the planet. Defeat poverty.

After so many avid international music artists performing around the world – from New York’s Central Park to the Amazon River in Brazil – for 24 hours, Global Citizen was a magnificent music masterpiece to behold.

After managing to catch a glimpse of Coldplay’s performance -with the tempting cameo of Billie Eilish gracing the stage – before my eyes finally drifted off after 2 in the morning, it got me really inspired to delve into new artists I wouldn’t have heard of before if it weren’t for the event.

Christina and the Queens, Burna Boy and Lang Lang were to name a few.

After such a mass worldwide coverage, did you manage to catch a glimpse of a performance, too?

If so, what was your favourite?

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How Important is Social Media to Our Music?

More and more musicians are being told that social media is the key to success in the music industry. But how much does it get in the way of creating our music?

Does it make it any more or any less valued than simply playing the tunes? Do we as grass root level musicians have to become trendsetters over night to gain any wealth of confidence in streaming numbers?

As social media barrages us with video after video, more undoing our creativity and reducing our attention span, will social media be our downfall in it all? After all, will we get through an entire song without skipping?

It seems that anything more than 30 seconds, and we will simply skip!

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COVID UPDATE: Barcelona hosts 5,000 Concert – for COVID-tested crowd.

In the midst of a pandemic, it starts to become important to obtain test results to gain an idea of when we would be able to return. For Barcelona and its live music, that was on Saturday night. Around 5,000 spent the night at a gig in Barcelona watching Love of Lesbian – after all were negatively tested for COVID. As one of the largest gatherings in Europe recorded, since the pandemic began, it will be able to give us an idea when we would be able to return to mass-gatherings after this pandemic filters out, and we start to get back to normal. No doubt, over the course of the next 14 days, they will make sure and keep tabs of all to who went and record any prevalent illnesses or worse, the return of COVID to their lungs.

As we get more brave with experimentations and understanding of how this illness progresses, hopefully we can get more comfortable with one another within mass gathering, assortments and crowds. Time will tell if we think differently about this, of course.

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Problems about the Music Industry – and how to fix them

Now, I want to take us away from the obvious problem for the industry right now, and discuss the ones that will were present before 2020 and will more likely be present after too.

I’ve heard that the music industry is a wonderful thing to work in. Once you get your connections right, the music industry provides ample opportunity, creativity and inspiration for its musicians and employees to earn while on the job. Or so I’ve been told.

Male-Dominated Industry

For years, it is not an uncommon fact that the industry has been considered as entirely male-orientated. From its festival line-ups, to the hiring tradition of stage crew and the persona of a woman doing a “man’s job”, the industry is rife with struggles from women in the industry and there are ample stories out there to suggest that.

There are closely run projects such as Artists Against Harassment and Vibe Excel, that inspire and provide the tools needed for the next generation of women in the music industry, not only support among platforms but to also help speak out, against the act of discrimination women have to go through.

Music and its Closed Door Ethos

Amongst industry professionals, they have been debunking this myth as nothing but … well, a myth. But, that may not be strictly true. The music industry has always had a feel of its not what you know, it’s who you know, – with those professionals themselves stressing the importance of contacts and connections amongst different varying sectors. Now, I may not the most viable of opinions as I’m looking at it from an outsiders’ perspective but, this may certainly be the case and sadly, poses this Closed Door ethos as true.

Artists’ Problem: Importance of Live Shows & Making Money (it is isn’t easy)

Ever since the Internet came about, the way we listen and purchase our music has changed. Downloads and streaming has outweighed the need for CDs – Spotify and Apple Music has become the new norm for relaxed and avid music consumers. This comes with problems, too of course.

How artists earn money has changed. With the royalty pay per listen at an all-time low as 0.01 to the penny or something ludicrous, artists are having to rely on live shows to make a living. With upcoming artists? This is an even bigger problem. The availability for upcoming artists to receive outreach for consistently common gigs is not common and so the money they receive for both live shows and physical copies is lacklustre.

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Fixing these problems?

Now, these problems are widely spoken about and pose problems for musicians and employers within the industry. But, there is a strength and unity within the industry from one another on overcoming these together. Once we work with one another, to overcome these problems, the industry may become even greater still.

Collectively standing against discrimination and we quash it.

Open up ourselves more to ‘outsiders’ who don’t have that strong a connection amongst others. Giving yourself to others to lend a helping hand to that struggling worker or musician.

Offering higher opportunity for artists on streaming services, and availability for live gigs.

You can start with some of the links below: