Covid and the Indie Artist
How a global pandemic has decimated indie music venues and artists.
America's indie music scene is being ravaged by the COVID-19 virus. Live music venues remain closed, forced to cancel shows, or are closing permanently. It is not just venues closing, but also some recording studios and rehearsal facilities are closing as well. While some have found ingenious ways to incorporate live virtual performances, will it be enough or just a band-aid.
There is no better thrill than attending a live concert, nothing compares to the electricity that can be felt. For the indie musician there is a thrill to performing on a stage in front of an audience. Recently, some venues were allowed to re-open with the stipulation that guests were required to show proof of vaccination (for a vaccine that was not FDA approved). This has hurt venues as well since most Americans are leery of an unapproved vaccine, plus not to mention there is a feeling of a vaccine being forced upon Americans. There are reports of people who have received the vaccine that still contracted the virus, so there is not much incentive to get the "jab".
Music festivals are also being postponed for a second year. So what are the indie musicians supposed to do? Festivals, venues, and larger stages are the main source of income for creatives. Many were forced into normal 9-5 type jobs just to make ends meet. Others were not suited to be stripped down, unplugged versions of themselves.
We have seen some pretty resourceful musicians since the start of lockdowns. Some have gone so far as to create custom virtual "tip jars" for their fans to show their support, and appreciation. Others have turned to platforms like Patreon which is a subscription based service. There have been some pretty unique methods that musicians have used just to generate income.
This article also pertains to other indie creatives like bloggers and reviewers as well. Many of whom have seen a dramatic decrease in their revenue streams. These streams of revenue can come from outside sources like income generated from monetized website ads, visitors, and other areas where their work might be seen. If they have nothing to write, then they have no reliable source of income.
The closing or restrictions of venues aren't just hitting the venue and artist, it is also having an affect on local economy as well. Small venues don't have the financial backing of live entertainment giants like Live Nation or AEG.
Some may have qualified for the PPP loan, but for those who did not they were forced to lay people. Also, COVID has taken a toll on the parking lot attendants, restaurants, and other businesses.
There are ways that we can help independent small venues and artists. If a show is cancelled, don't ask for a cash refund. You can always ask for a rain check to a future show or just donate the ticket price back to the venue.
As for the artist, You can continue to help support them by purchasing their music and asking friends to do the same. There is also the option to purchase merchandise (if they sell it). Streaming revenue is another great way to support them. You can also share their streaming links on your social media too. Becoming a member of their monthly Patreon subscription will help too.
It is important that we continue to support smaller venues. They are our home away from homes. The world in which we escape reality even if only for a few hours. We can lose ourselves and block out life's little problems whenever we are attend a show. Get out there and purchase music from your favorite artists, buy their merch, see how you can help your local small venue.
After working in the music industry since he was just 17 years old Allen decided one day to begin blogging his experiences,reviewing new music, and sharing his ideas with the indie artist. Please help us out by liking and following our blog