A new survey from the Musicians' Union tells the toll the novel coronavirus has taken on artists.
The poll of about 2,000 of the union's members, as reported in the Guardian, found that 87 percent of musicians will earn less than £20,000 in 2020—the average annual UK income is £29,600. The same percentage of artists said they will face financial hardship if the UK government does not extend its furlough and income support schemes after October.
The survey also found that nearly half of musicians have been "forced" to look for work outside of music. 70 percent of artists have been unable to secure "more than a quarter of their usual work," while 36 percent "do not have any work at all."
88 percent of respondents believe that the UK government hasn't done "enough" to provide support for musicians and the arts. In July, the government announced a £1.57 billion relief package for the arts and cultural sectors, though it wasn't until the #LetUsDance campaign by the nightlife industry and community that it was clear that clubs and festivals would be eligible for grants. Aside from independent funds and grants and the furlough and self-employed income support schemes, there's not been much else in the way of direct aid for musicians and artists from the government.
The Musicians' Union is encouraging UK citizens to write to their MP asking them to provide more support for artists and music industry.
Photo credit: Royal Festival Hall