Grammy organisers the Recording Academy have teamed up with charitable foundation MusiCares to set up a relief fund for struggling artists during the coronavirus lockdown.
Tours and shows around the world have been either cancelled or postponed as the music industry reels from the spread of the virus. Add to that restrictions on the number of people who can gather together and the closure of many venues, and artists across all music genres are suffering.
The Recording Academy and MusiCares have each made an initial donation of $1 million to the COVID-19 Fund, with the various chapters of the Recording Academy pledging to help by launching further fundraising drives.
Chair and interim CEO of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason says: “Event cancellations are at unprecedented levels and the situation, therefore, requires an unprecedented response.
“Many people in the industry are now in crisis, not knowing what the future holds or having to deal with dire commercial realities. We are asking the entire industry to stand with us to support the musicians, artists and professionals who are the bedrock and the future of our music community.
"It’s in times like these that many of us turn to music. Music can help us cope, and has the power to bring us together during a time when many of us might feel isolated. We encourage people everywhere to embrace the music industry which needs our help in these uncertain times."
MusiCares chair Steve Boom adds: “The music industry is built on the work of musicians, artists, and music professionals. It is in times like these, that the industry needs to come together to support those who are struggling, particularly those who rely on touring incomes to survive.
“We know this fund will need to be significant. We will not be able to do it alone, and that’s why we are asking the entire music community including labels, streaming services, and anyone who is able to join us in this important effort.
“We're all in when the good times roll, and it’s important that we're all in when times are tough, too.”
The COVID-19 Fund’s website is now live. Donations can be made and artists who need support can also apply directly for help on the site.
Bandcamp have also announced a drive to help artists by waiving their revenue share on all sales this coming Friday (March 20) from midnight to midnight Pacific Time.
Bandcamp’s co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamond says: “For many artists, a single day of boosted sales can mean the difference between being able to pay rent or not. Still, we consider this just a starting point.
“Musicians will continue to feel the effects of lost touring income for many months to come, so we’re also sharing some ideas below on how fans can support the artists they love and how artists can give fans new, creative ways to provide support.
“It may sound simple, but the best way to help artists is with your direct financial support, and we hope you’ll join us on Friday and through the coming months as we work to support artists in this challenging time.”
With musicians struggling financially due to the mass postponement of concerts and shows, here are 10 ways to help your favourite artists.
Keep up to date with all the latest news on tour and show postponements and cancellations due to coronavirus on Louder’s dedicated hub page. This will be updated regularly with news as we get it.
The World Health Organisation have posted public advice in light of the spread of the virus which covers basic protective measures.