If you’re an artist, DJ, producer, promoter or manager, chances are you’ve been hit hard by the whole covid-19 deal. We hope this helps. And remember, music is more important than ever.
Written by Leni - March 24, 2020
If you’re a DJ, producer, promoter or manager, chances are you’ve been hit hard by the whole covid-19 deal.
Major international music festivals including SXSW, Ultra Music and Coachella called it quits within the span of just a few days or weeks. Live music venues have been ordered shut, bars closed, and promoters are recommending all tours be postponed until the summer.
These forced closures and cancellations have thrown many artists and workers in the music industry into a tailspin — particularly those who rely on touring and live shows as their main source of income.
Over the last few days, we’ve been hit up by our independent artist community for tips and advice for navigating this crisis and keeping their artist project alive. From live streaming your gigs, to getting access to emergency funding, here’s our round-up of the most helpful career resources for music artists during the covid-19 pandemic.
We know that streaming your performances online is not a financial substitute for live gigs, but it’s a way to make your show more accessible to a wider, more global audience.
Short-term, this helps keep your fanbase engaged with your artist project over the next few months. It can also help get your music in front of new fans, grow your social media audience and up your listener community on Spotify. Be sure to set up PayPal.me or Venmo links to help your fans easily donate. Add links to the live stream post, description or comments.
Long-term, you can consider taking livestreaming seriously and start monetizing your performances online behind a “paywall” or subscription platform, like Twitch. Artists who have been able to make a living from livestreaming (like JVNA, HANA and Flux Pavilion) aren’t just broadcasting gigs, they’re also taking fans behind-the-scenes of their creative projects — like recording an album, filming a music video or just hanging out at festivals.
Live streaming platforms:
COVID-19 has placed an enormous financial burden on so many independent artists and music industry workers, with the closing of performance venues, clubs, bars and cancellation of events, festivals and scheduled gigs.
If you’re being impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and need financial support, here are some organizations or funds helping out:
MusiCares is the non-profit organization dedicated to the physical and mental health of musicians who have launched a relief fund for artists (you can apply here).
American Guild of Musical Artists Relief Fund is inviting its members to apply for financial assistance under the AGMA Relief Fund, which has temporarily doubled the amount of assistance available to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses around the world, including music and live events businesses. You can sign up for updates here.
The Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund was set up to provide direct financial assistance to musicians who have lost work as a result of Corona-related event cancellations. Apply here.
Hong Kong Arts Development Council has increased its support for the Arts & Cultural Sector to HK$55 million to help relieve the financial burden of the arts sector during this period.
Singapore has released funding of over S$1.6 million for the arts and culture sector as part of a support for the music community.
UK: The UK Government has set up a website with info on financial support for creatives and small business support.
GERMANY: GEMA Corona Aid Fund is a $43 million fund for composers, lyricists, music publishers and songwriter members who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
FINLAND: A number of large Finnish foundations, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) are working together to grant swift assistance to arts and culture professionals who have been hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak. Funding of EUR 1.5 million will be distributed in April via the Arts Promotion Centre (Taike).
BELGIUM: Wallonia-Brussels Federation has information on aid for artists negatively impacted by performance cancellations related to COVID-19.
SWEDEN: Hit up Export Music Sweden for advice and news updates.
NORWAY: Music Norway has published a heap of articles on funding and creative tips for artists.
Social distancing is isolating. And extended periods of isolation can take a toll on anyone’s mental health, especially music artists who have also had gigs cancelled, projects postponed and income culled.
LA-based meditation app Headspace is offering free services and guides to help people cope with stress caused by COVID-19 by introducing a series of new free meditation programs.
Meditation app Calm has also introduced free services, releasing a curated selection of sleep meditations and practices to find mental ease.
Simple Habit is introducing new meditation collections specifically geared toward coronavirus–topics including self-care, mindfulness, mindful communication with family and easing fear.
Unexpected downtime means more time to reinvest in your music career. If you’re locked in your apartment like most of us (#covid19life), turn that time into productive work.
Moog and Korg have released some of their apps for free, so you can level up your production and slip some Dre-inspired sounds into your latest track. Moog’s Minimoog Model D iOS app and Korg’s iKaossilator app for iOS and Android are available for free for a limited time.
Creative design suite Affinity right now offers new users a three month trial, as well as up to 50% off their apps!
Mixing and mastering softwarre iZotope are hosting some good bundle deals throughout March.
You can also check out our blog, where we regularly offer the best tips on how to get to the next level of your artist career. Here’s some helpful reads this month:
How To Set Up Your Home Studio
Best Sound, Mixing & Mastering Tools
Tips For Jumpstarting Your Music Career
Best Ways To Promote Your Music Independently
While live gigging is not an option, you can look to new ways to monetize your artist project.
SoundCloud has teamed up with Twitch to help musicians who are feeling a financial strain due to COVID-19, opening fast-track access to Affiliate status on Twitch for SoundCloud artists (which unlocks Twitch’s monetization tools).
Twitch's parent company Amazon has also made moves to back independent artists, announcing that they have started boosting musicians' Twitch livestreams on its Amazon Music channel on the platform.
BeatStars lets you make a beat and sell it on their marketplace — it’s the same platform that Amuse distribution artist Lil Nas X used to create "Old Town Road". You can sell songs, singles, albums, EPs and also production track licenses for beats, beats with choruses, vocals, and full song references.
This can also be a good time to finally set up that merch line you’ve been thinking of! Services like Printful offer on-demand custom products, meaning you don’t have to print masses of products or invest a lot of money in stocking up.
You can also take your skillset as a music artist (digital marketing, design, mixing, production) and take on some freelance work. Hit up sites like Freelancer, UpWork and Fiverr.
We know it’s a challenging time being an independent music artist right now, so keep an eye on our blog over the next few weeks for more tips, resources and advice. Got a topic you want us to cover? Hit us up on Twitter or Instagram.
For more resources and tips, check out coronamusicians.info