Trying to make ends meet

COVID-19 has had a direct financial impact on the music industry.

Karinna Carrillo, Staff Writer

Harry Styles is scheduled to perform on August 21st at the Golden 1 Center. (Photo courtesy of People Magazine)

2020 will be a year that nobody will forget for a very long time. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to lose their jobs, shut down schools, and cancel events, such as concerts and music festivals. Many restrictions were deployed to help avoid the spread of the virus. Travel restrictions, quarantines, closing of businesses and other limitations were enforced for the safety of everyone. With proper sanitization and venue size being just two of the major issues music festivals had to deal with, musicians had to cancel the tours they had planned for the year. This has caused an immediate financial impact on the music industry.

The pandemic has caused touring schedules to collapse. Many artists were prepared to tour before March 2020, such as Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Brittany Howard, and many more. Not many people realize that the pandemic has been especially tough for touring artists. Not all musicians have a consistent income like Billie Eilish from song and album sales. Lots of touring musicians rely on the money they receive when they tour. Groups, such as Band of Heathens, were left struggling to make ends meet once the pandemic cancelled their tours. Gordy Quist of Band of Heathens states, “Our income went to zero”. Being a smaller, touring band is already hard enough, but the pandemic has only made it harder for them to succeed as a band. Many artists ask for support through their fandom. In fact, artists, such as Quist, have hosted virtual concerts. Quist asked fans to pay $100 for a private Zoom concert. These virtual concerts have saved many artists from struggling financially. Quist was playing about ten to fifteen 40-minute
concerts each week to keep himself afloat. These private virtual concerts do not carry the same energy as live concerts, of course. However, many artists have claimed that the private concerts have allowed them to discuss more personal topics or issues with their fans.

Not everyone likes the idea of a virtual concert. As stated before, these online concerts do not express the same energy as live performances. The Pop duo, Baseball Gregg, had scheduled a tour around the release of their album, Calendar, but simply had to drop the tour due to the COVID-19 lockdown in March. When asked about their opinion on virtual concerts, Sam Regan of Baseball Gregg simply said, “It’s really hard to get that same energy from playing a show. You can’t recreate that. It’s not as engaging online.” Several months ago, Baseball Gregg shot a virtual show for and Manuela Rock Online Festivals. Although seeing them live would’ve been a lot more enjoyable for fans, Baseball Gregg was able to satisfy their audience from the comfort of their own home.

There are still many ways to enjoy music and support artists from home during the pandemic. Simply attending virtual concerts or following and supporting them on social media platforms helps artists expand their audience. Most artists have online banking information in their social bios and hope that fans donate to them during the pandemic. Attending and donating to musicians’ livestreams is also a big help. Supporting local musicians is important during these hard times, due to the fact that some artists are reliant on the money they receive from performing shows. Simply streaming their music helps them a lot more than most people would think. Showing your love and support for a local artist is easy in 2021. Don’t just sit there. Let’s jump on the bandwagon and get this done!