It is no secret by now that Rona is taking over and seriously hurting multiple industries, including the music industry. Analysts told Forbes the music industry could lose up to $5 billion. This is because since streaming came along, the primary income for artists shifted to touring and merchandise. As TOKiMONSTA told Vulture, "as a touring artist where the bulk of my living comes from touring, it's a lot to deal with… I'm essentially not making any money this month, which is tough as a musician. This career is already really volatile." She goes on to explain she is lucky to be a more established artist with savings, but that is not the case for all artists. Liam Parsons from Good Morning knows that struggle as he explains, "We took a massive financial hit from this… we're at least down $10,000 on money already spent. In terms of lost guarantees and potential merch sales, around $25,000. We also left our jobs before we left, so we're going back to nothing."
So what can we do as fans, listeners and supporters? Here are a five key ways to help your favorite musicians stay afloat.
First, instead of collecting and hoarding toilet paper, collect and hoard your favorite music! Growing your collection of physicals, CDs, and vinyl's is not only a great way to connect with artists, but also a great way to directly support them in this time. Besides, what else will you have to do once you've already finished the new show you wanted to see and re-watched your favorite show for the third time? Also, for the shopaholics out there, instead of going out to the mall, go online to buy your favorite artists' shirts, buttons and other merchandise! You can satisfy your desire for a new graphic shirt while also being there for artists in need of support. A few tips though - make sure to purchase directly from the band or artist website instead of third party retailers who usually take their own deduction!
Second, another way to support is to tune in to all online content! Many artists, especially those who had shows scheduled, are getting creative and reverting to livestream concerts. Set time aside to tune in to these concerts, like you would to attend an actual concert! Yungblud, for example, plans to do a livestream where he'll "be playing songs, gonna bring some of my friends out, do some skits, and do a late-night show - like a rock and roll version of fuckin' Jimmy Kimmel. Try to give people a bit of positivity, laughter, and emotion." That really will be one to watch. Support artist livestreams, watch their videos, subscribe to their Youtube or Patreon channels, and share their content and music in your playlists or on your socials. Everything counts!
Some artists are avoiding livestream shows because the energy does not always translate. In that case, revert to our other tips, like this next one- keep listening but don't stream or download! Instead, listen to physical albums that you purchased. Bandcamp is another great place to listen to music. The platform allows independent artists to control their own prices and even allows you to donate as much as you'd like to the artist.
Fourth, are your favorite artists doing any crowd funding campaigns? Whether it's GoFundMe or Kickstarter, contributing to these campaigns is a great way to show your support. Plain and simple!
Lastly, be sure to also show support for venues and music clubs. Why? Because arguably the group in the music industry that Rona hits the hardest is the tour and venue staff, from tour managers to the crew to the venue operators, all of whom rely on ticket and drink sales for revenue. You can buy merchandise from these venues online. To go a step further, if you had purchased tickets for a show or festival, (and if you are in a position to do so), considering not asking for ticket refunds.Ticket income not only goes back to the artists, but also into the paychecks of every crewmember involved in making a show happen.
Speaking on the Rona chaos, Mia Berrin from Pom Pom Squad brings up an important question: "There's less and less room for developing artists in media, so how are we going to grow?" It is vital to support all artists in this time, especially upcoming artists hustling tirelessly on the come up. Tune in to their livestreams, buy their merch, support their side hustles. We are lucky to live in an age of technological advancement that allows us show support with the click of a button. Though some of these tips may seem obvious, they make the world of a difference.
Congratulations! You are now equipped with the various ways to support artists. Whether you plan to quarantine and chill with someone, or remain socially isolated, let the voice of your favorite artists keep you company and get you through this strange time we're in.