A new study by the Musicians’ Union (MU) in the UK has found that 34% of musicians are considering leaving the industry because of COVID-19. A further 37% said that they are “not sure” about their future in the sector.
A deeper look into the stats reveals more bad news: 47% have been forced to seek work elsewhere, while 70% report they are only getting a fraction of their usual paid work.
Respondees were unsurprisingly critical of the UK Government’s handling of the COVID crisis: 88% said they believe the government “has not done enough to support musicians during the pandemic.”
“These figures are devastating and show how many musicians are struggling financially and at real risk of leaving music for good,” said MU general secretary Horace Trubridge.
“We appreciate all the government has done to support our members through the furlough and self-employment income support schemes so far, but they must not abandon musicians now. With social distancing measures still in place, venues can only sell at around 30% of usual capacity.”
The MU is asking for the introduction of a seat-matching system, which would see the government match the price of every ticket sold for socially distanced concerts.