How to Support the Music Industry during COVID-19
Updated: May 22, 2020
The current COVID-19 pandemic has turned the entire world upside down, and the music community has been one of the most severely affected. Live events are canceled, industry professionals are unemployed and fans are left wondering when they’re going to be able to join one another on the dance floor again, singing and dancing to the songs they know and love.
To cope with the lack of live music, the entire music industry has shifted nearly everything to online virtual events to keep the spirit of the scene alive. While these virtual events have been a saving grace for most dance music fans, it simply doesn’t pay the bills. Whether it be a local venue hosting weekly events, or your favorite DJ streaming from his kitchen, they more than likely aren’t getting paid to do it.
There are currently over 1,000 music venues across the country in danger of closing, so supporting the music industry is more important than ever. Whether it be donating to your local music venue or buying merch from your favorite DJ, there are several things you can do to keep the industry alive.
Supporting local venues
Amongst the hardest hit by this pandemic are smaller, independent venues whose livelihoods depend on being able to let people through their doors. In California, concerts are considered “high risk” and won’t be allowed until the very end of the stay at home order, and it’s likely these smaller venues will close down unless they have the support of their local community.
The best way to support these local venues are through donations. Venues all over SF have set up GoFundMe accounts, and venues like The Midway SF have even set up a membership style fundraiser on Indiegogo, which includes special perks for individuals who donate such as free tickets, drinks and food.
If you want to keep your favorite SF Venue operating, we’ve included a link to their donation pages and their Twitch (if they have one) at the end of this article.
It’s easy to put artists on a pedestal as these rich DJs who are touring the globe with millions of dollars, but that is only the case for a select few. The trance scene in particular isn’t one cast into the limelight often, and many of these artists booking rates are not quite as high as you may think.
To put some things into perspective, let’s say a DJ’s guarantee for a normal club show is $5,000. If they play one show every single weekend of the year, that’s about $260,000/year. Then once you consider travel costs and paying the people who come on tour with them, that number falls well below $150,000/year. Don’t get me wrong, I think anyone would be happy making $150,000 a year, but when that money is made by performing live, it’s difficult to wrap your head around making money another way. Yes, artists can make money with music sales, production classes/sample packs or streaming platforms, but touring is without a doubt their main source of income.
With live events canceled for the foreseeable future, what is the best way to support these artists going right now? As mentioned earlier, many artists have turned to live Twitch streams, which allows their fans to donate directly. Donating, in addition to buying merch, are the two things fans can do right now to make the most impact. Buying and streaming music is obviously important, but most of that money goes to either the record label or streaming platform—two parts of the music industry that are likely doing better than most during the pandemic.
That being said, everyone is struggling in one way or another due to COVID-19, so it’s also important to realize that even if you can’t do any of the aforementioned things above, listening to the music and watching live streams to show your support goes a long way.
A couple weeks ago, Solarstone posted the following to his Instagram account, which perfectly summarizes the situation a lot of DJs at his level are going through.
We know times are tough, but this will eventually pass. For now, while our living rooms have become dance floors, try and do everything you can to support what you love...we’ll be back soon.
Local Venue Donation Pages + Twitch Accounts
If we’ve missed any, please email us at email@example.com and we will add them to the post.
Audio & Bergerac
Monarch & The Great Northern