A Third Of UK Musicians May Quit Due To Pandemic

A poll was conducted amongst about 2000 of the Musicians' Union's members

A survey carried out by the Musicians’ Union has revealed the toll of the coronavirus pandemic for many of the UK’s musicians.

As The Guardian reports, the poll involved about 2000 of the organisation’s members, and revealed, alarmingly, that a third of respondents were "considering abandoning their career in music" altogether.

The survey also revealed that nearly half the respondents have been forced to look for work outside of music, and that 70% of those polled have been unable to secure "more than a quarter of their usual work." 36% of respondents "do not have any work at all."

87% of those polled said that they will earn less than £20,000 over the course of 2020, significantly less than the average annual UK income of £29,600. The same percentage of respondents added that they will face financial difficulty if the UK government does not extend its existing furlough and self-employment income support schemes after October. (The government today confirmed an end to both schemes, while announcing new support that has been widely criticised by UK music industry figures.)

88% of those who shared their thoughts believe that the UK government hasn’t done enough overall to provide support for musicians and the arts sector.

In July, the government launched the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund for the UK’s arts and culture sector. This followed successive calls for support from bodies such as the Night Time Industries Association and Music Venue Trust, as well as the Let The Music Play campaign. A number of music venues and nightclubs began to receive grants in August as part of the Culture Recovery Fund, but it’s feared these will not be enough to help see them through the winter as venues remained closed.

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