It’s no secret that the ongoing pandemic has created issues for everyone. As we barrel through month after month of “unprecendented times,” it becomes harder to imagine a world before masks and capacity limits. We’ve found a substitute for most things— Zoom hangouts with friends, contactless delivery for practically anything and online classes for students around the world— but there’s something we can’t truly replicate until a vaccine is found.
Live shows are a massive part of the music industry. Seeing your favorite artist alongside a crowd of people that are just as passionate as you is a feeling that can’t be replicated. Livestreams are great and all, but nothing con compare to the real thing.
During this time of caution and regulation, the people that work to make that experience come to life are left with nowhere to turn. Most can’t simply work from home— there’s no work to be done without a crowd. Venue owners, lighting designers, sound technicians, security guards and everyone else involved in putting on a show are left with nowhere to turn.
A few artists have been rethinking just how to keep the industry alive. Keith Urban performed for a drive-in crowd of healthcare workers, and others like the Beach Boys and Sublime are planning to hop on the trend. Other artists have been utilizing social media to livestream sets and provide as much of an experience as possible through a screen.
Despite these solutions, there’s still a massive dip in business for the live music industry. Until there’s a vaccine or it’s safe to return to normal, the industry will continue to struggle.
We can all hold on to the hope that we’ll be able to return to our favorite venues soon enough, but they need our support to make that a guarantee. Spotify, Live Nation and MusiCares have all pledged their support to live music crews.
Spotify has worked to increase the impact of smaller funds, and has pledged to match up to $10 million in donations. The have a collection of links at https://covid19musicrelief.byspotify.com/en-us to fundraisers around the world if you would like to donate or learn more.
Live Nation is focusing their efforts on the crews behind the scenes that make their shows possible, and have committed $10 million to Crew Nation. All proceeds go directly to artists and crew members that apply for relief. To learn more or apply, visit https://www.livenationentertainment.com/crewnation/.
MusiCares, an offshoot of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, has offered support for musicians affected by the pandemic. They are supported by a host of streaming platforms, popular apps and charitable foundations. You can donate or apply for aid at https://www.grammy.com/musicares/get-help/musicares-coronavirus-relief.
Seeing live shows may be the least of our problems right now, but the industry provides jobs for so many. In order to guarantee that the venues we love can stick around until after the pandemic, we need to help them out by donating, volunteering our time and spreading the word.