We are all well aware by now of the devastating impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on music and nightlife industries around the world. In a crisis where cutting out human contact has been one of the main lines of defence, the effervescent world of live music has been caught in the crossfire in the most impossible way.
Almost a year on from the first venue closures, the calls-to-action to save our nightlife and music venues are – quite rightly – getting louder and more urgent by the day. In both the UK and US, we’re seeing strident efforts to raise awareness of the need for intervention now if we want to prevent our favourite cities from turning into “ghost towns” (as warned by one UK MP).
New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, for example, gave an emotive speech on the subject in early January 2021. In it, he announced a ‘New York Arts Revival Scheme’ – an initiative designed to save the livelihoods of arts industry professionals and venues in NYC. And in the UK, a recently published report organised by a specially devised All-Party Parliamentary Group has revealed some sobering truths about the current state of the UK’s nightlife scene. These include the fact that:
85% of people working in the UK night-time economy are considering leaving
78% of all employees in the sector have been on furlough at some point
Businesses in the sector have made an average of 37% of their total workforce redundant during the pandemic
So, what can individuals do to help save nightlife venues and the live music scene?
It's clear that governments need to listen to the voices of those campaigning for state-level support. And that real, tangible change needs to come from leaders if the music and nightlife industries are going to bounce back from this. But what are the actions we can all take on an individual level to help contribute to the solution? Let’s take a look:
There’s now an almost endless list of places you can donate to help save musicians, venues and the nightlife industry in general across the globe. Wherever you are, search for local crowdfunding efforts or charity organisations that have been set up in response to the pandemic and give what you can. If you have a favourite venue that you don’t want to see close, contact them to see if they have a donation scheme going – it’s small actions like these that could make all the difference in the long-run.
There are lots of larger scale donation points too. Here are some in the US and UK to get you started:
Help Musicians (UK)
New Music USA (USA)
Interested in what we’ve been doing here at Ticket Tailor to support those in need throughout the pandemic? Check out all of our charitable donations from 2020 >
A lot of organisations (including some of those listed above) are selling merchandise as part of their fundraising efforts. Jump on the merch bandwagon, and wear your support with pride!
Keep on attending streamed gigs
Streamed gigs have become a lifeline to both performers and those who just can’t live without their live music fix. Zoom pub sessions may have waned in popularity, but it’s so important to keep the momentum going for streamed gigs if we want to keep the music industry alive. Lots of artists are doing them with ridiculously cheap tickets, too, with all money going to the cause. Of course, if you can donate more than the asking price – go for it!
Buy gig tickets for the future, now
If you’re normally a regular gig-goer and can afford to front-load on tickets for future events, go for it. Buying tickets in advance will help keep funds coming in for the artists and venues that need them so badly.
Make your voice heard
One of the biggest things you can do to drive change is to join the collective voice of people trying to reach those ‘at the top’. Signing petitions, writing letters to your local MP/legislators and spreading the word on social media are all great ways to contribute towards the effort. Some useful hashtags to know are:
Search “Petitions to save music venues” or “Petitions to save nightlife” for the latest signing opportunities in your country.
The main thing to remember in all of this is that whether you donate a pound or start a whole movement – it’s the actions that you take right now that will help our treasured live music and nightlife scenes survive. And it’s so important that they do.