The COVID-19 pandemic has completely devastated the music industry. Major music festivals like Coachella and the Governors Ball have been canceled, and nearly $9 billion in ticket sales could be lost this year.
Musicians from across the world – from street performers to platinum artists – have all been affected by the pandemic. So, how can we help our favorite bands and artists during this difficult time?
Here are some of the most effective ways to contribute.
By purchasing official merchandise or albums
One of the best ways to help support a particular artist is by purchasing their merchandise. Many artists have official online stores where they sell custom clothing, bags, and more.
Alternatively, you can always buy vinyl records, CDs, etc. Buying albums directly nets artists much more money than streaming their music on a third-party platform like Spotify or SoundCloud.
By donating directly to the artist
Another great way to support a particular artist is by donating directly to them. Direct donations usually go through PayPal, Venmo, or another payment platform, and you can often find their account information posted on their social media pages.
Some artists have also set up Patreon accounts. By donating through Patreon, you become a “patron” and are awarded special benefits such as exclusive livestreams and merchandise.
By watching livestreams
Speaking of livestreams, watching livestreams is another great way to support your favorite artists. In response to the lockdown, many artists have moved online to platforms like YouTube and Twitch.
On most streaming sites, viewers can watch for free and donate to the streamer, if they wish to. However, even if you’re not donating, you’re still helping by watching ads that generate ad revenue for the streamer. Additionally, more views on a stream will help it place on the front page, which could lead to more people clicking on it, and more revenue for the streamer.
Every viewer counts!
Check for livestreams here.
By donating to a charity for musicians
Charities are a great way to support musicians in need as a whole, rather than one particular musician.
Musicares COVID-19 Relief
One of the most well known charities is MusiCares, which helps musicians through its MusiCares COVID-19 Relief program. Support is prioritized to those who need immediate help, mostly musicians facing health issues, eviction, or other critical problems.
To donate to MusiCares, click here.
Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief
Spotify has launched the COVID-19 Music Relief project to help musicians across the world. To achieve its goal, Spotify has partnered with MusiCares, Support Act, PRS Foundation, and Unison Benevolent Fund, among others. Spotify will match all donations to these charities up to a collective total of $10 million!
To donate to one or more of Spotify’s participating organizations, click here.
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is another amazing and unique charity to donate to. It specializes in helping musicians who are struggling financially while also facing other problems, such as illness or a disability.
To donate to Sweet Relief, click here.
Alternatively, you can help out by purchasing Sweet Relief’s merchandise, which has a collections line as well as tees, tanks, hoodies, accessories, baby clothing, and even face masks! All proceeds from their online store go towards their COVID-19 fund.
Musicians’ Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund (UK)
The Musicians’ Union has established the Musicians’ Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund. They are giving out small grants of £200 (about $255 dollars) to musicians in “genuine financial hardship.” Within just hours of the fund’s launch, they received hundreds of applications, demonstrating just how difficult these times are. Please remember, every donation counts, no matter how small!
To donate to this fund, click here.