It’s now been more than a year since COVID-19 first started spreading in China. The virus has not only killed infected people, but it has also taken many industries with it. The music industry is one of Corona’s economic victims. In a nutshell, sources like Billboard and Amsterdam Dance event, the music industry finally recovered from a drastic downfall it experienced and electronic music artists in 2019 were making more than during the 2017 peak of the industry. The pre-covid yearly industry revenue was 7.3 billion, and now it has fallen almost 70%, which is a shocking pitfall. This article talks about the ways in which the industry is trying to cope with the loss.
The first major thing that happened was that over 90% of festivals were cancelled. Shortly after, clubs followed. This hurt artists a lot, because ever since the start of the 00’s, live performances have made up the majority of any musician’s revenue. Everyone moved online, organised streams and virtual festivals, which are accompanied by fundraisers intended to support the staff that has been put out of work due to the virus (i.e. promoters, bartenders, sound staff). However, these efforts were not enough, and pretty quickly we saw the closing of some of the most iconic clubs in Europe.
The Summer came and Ibiza and Majorca did the unimaginable- they closed their seasons. These islands are famous for their clubbing scene and at least 80% of their economy relied on party tourism. This has put many seasonal staff out of work.
Since standard festivals couldn’t be held anymore, organisations came up with the concept of “drive-ins” and “socially-distanced” festivals, but this is obviously not sustainable in the long run. Firstly, it is not cost-efficient and tickets are quite expensive. On top of that, festivals rely on international visits, which is highly discouraged during the global pandemic times.
One name that stood out with its charitable work and artist support during these times was Bandcamp. The biggest news they announced is that every Friday, the company would forgot about 15% revenue made from digital sales, channeling that money back to the independent artists. Besides the company itself, numerous artists made campaings on the pplatform where they donated 100% of album revenue to COVID relief organisations.
Many people are in need of mental support during these times, because it is hard to cope with quarantining and not being able to live a normal life. But there have been some positives- we are united more than ever and everyone is trying to help each other. Pineer DJ company has made a documentary that gives insight into how the music industry staff have been handling the situation. They showcase the stories of 5 prominent electronic DJs, who talk about their past and current experiences.