According to a new study, nearly two-thirds of UK musicians are considering exiting the music industry.
Encore Musicians, a musician-booking platform, disclosed the troubling statistic – and other, similarly discouraging data – in a recently published analysis. Of the 569 UK musicians who participated in the survey, about 64 percent (346 persons) indicated that they are considering “leaving the music profession.”
Additionally, in a testament to the unevenness of the post-lockdown recovery, 40 percent of survey participants (228 individuals) said that they have zero gigs booked between now and the end of the year; the average at this point in 2019 was 27 scheduled performances. In other words, evidence suggests that members of the music community are enjoying far fewer opportunities to earn a living than other professionals.
And despite the fact that London gave socially distanced indoor concerts the green light to resume last month, the study also revealed that artists’ booked gigs (between August and December) are down 87 percent from 2019.
In our reporting on the resumption of concerts in Britain, we noted that the Music Venue Trust (MVT), a non-profit advocate for UK venues, stated “that the vast majority of grassroots music venues are not financially able, or even have the physical premises layout, to deliver these newly permitted events.”
Encore proceeded to relay that UK musicians have lost an average of about $15,143 (£11,300) “in cancelled bookings as a result of the pandemic.” (As an aside, the survey took steps to reach out chiefly to professional musicians; 60 percent of participants were age 30 or older.) Pop artists reported the highest coronavirus-fueled income dip, parting with roughly $26,663 (£19,900) in wages since March.
Earlier this year, we reported on a separate, 1,459-person survey, which found that 20 percent of British musicians feared that the pandemic and its associated lockdown measures would spell the end of their careers. Despite the subsequent relaxation of these requirements, it appears that even ongoing social-distancing requirements are continuing to have a substantial impact on the live-event sphere and, specifically, artists’ ability to earn a living from shows.
Needless to say, a significant number of performers stand to benefit from live music’s full-scale reemergence. On this front, leading concert promoter Live Nation is banking on a comeback arriving in early 2021. But maybe that’s too soon: just recently, Lollapalooza cofounder Marc Geiger predicted that things won’t bounce back until 2022.
Though it’s unclear when performances will return to form, recent weeks haven’t been without positive live-music developments. Last month, Insomniac sold out 2021 EDC Las Vegas tickets after just one day, in a sign that fans are eager to resume enjoying traditional festivals and concerts. Previously, researchers suggested that the pandemic would have a long-term effect on music lovers’ desire to attend gigs.