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Music industry relief resources during COVID-19

Photo: Kendall Drake • The Sentry
All the places helping music professionals.

The show must go on

The live music of the world has gone quiet. With the music industry facing to lose billions of dollars, it’s a fearfully unstable time for people of the industry, whether they’re in performing, booking, managing, or any other facet of putting on a great show. But despite the trying times, there are a lot of organizations working hard to keep the world of music afloat in this crisis.  

The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) has released a resource page that allows musicians to navigate through several resources, including finding out exactly what type of unemployment benefits are out there and what exactly they should apply for. The federation also includes links to different unions and groups like The Actors Fund stating, “Musicians affected by COVID-19 should contact The Actors Fund for information on emergency financial assistance and other resources, including affordable housing, health care, and insurance counseling.”  

Billboard recently published, “A State-by-State Resource Guide for Music Professionals Who Need Help During Coronavirus Crisis” which is being updated regularly. The page includes an alphabetized list of hyperlinked resources across the United States. From large programs, like American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund, to smaller initiatives like the Artist Relief Tree offering a first-come-first serve 250$ grant to any artists in need. Sound Royalties offered a no-cost advance in all of their applications received until April 16. The page also listed covidresources@billboard.com as a contact point for any resource input to be updated on the page.   

Another regularly updated page of resources came froNational Public Radio, which also focused heavily on the business and industry side. First mentioned is the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) from the Small Business Administration (SBA) available for small businesses in 36 different states. The loan-based resource is followed by a Non-Profit formed by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, MusiCares, which has launched a $2 million relief fund, initially giving “grants of up to $1,000 each to music-industry professionals who need basic living assistance in the wake of event cancellations and work losses.”  

And beyond relief funds, there is help from companies like Native Instruments for businesses developing e-commerce revenue by establishing recurring memberships such as Spotify. There are even resources for community-building and advocacy for independent businesses. NPR stated, “Independent Venue Week, which organizes annual events in the U.S. and U.K. celebrating independent venues, has been organizing regular town halls connecting promoters, venue owners and other event professionals to exchange concerns and brainstorm strategies for navigating ongoing closures.” 

From major relief projects like Spotify’s donation-based relief fund, Spotify matching all donations up to $10 million dollars, to different free products, workshops, and learning resources from Ableton and Pro Tools there are new resources for struggling artists emerging every day. The stages may be empty for now, but the more that everyone comes together to help artists through this time, the easier it will be for them to bring people together when the world reopens.   

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