• Stephanie West

How fans can support musicians and the music industry during the Coronavirus Lockdown .

Updated: Apr 23

Bands, DJ's, sound techs, roadies, record shops- you name it - have all been negatively impacted by the recent coronavirus outbreak and a lot of people are upset about it. Some might think that it's petty to talk about the hedonistic luxury of music and art during such a serious time when people are gravely ill and dying- but what it really comes down to is that the music industry is a business and these people who have been making a living off of this industry are really suffering financially during this time.


Many musicians and creative types out there, like myself are self employed. We rely on gigs and cash donations to pay the bills or to supplement our income. A lot of us out there work part times jobs in the service industry, that have also been recently eliminated due to the home lockdown. For a lot of us, there is no option for receiving unemployment insurance. This presents a big quandary and leaves a sense of helplessness when we are ordered to be home indefinitely.


So what can we all do to boost our income and morale until the government decides to mail out those stimulus checks? Well, we can do what we do best- get creative. There has been a large influx of artists big and small getting proactive and reminding their fans that yes, they are still out there creating and they need work. Many have started streaming their performances all over the world. Great idea right? Well, I have searched the internet for you collected a few more ideas for musicians and music fans to continue to create, keep morale up and make some money till this unpredictable period passes.


Here ya go!


WHAT MUSIC FANS CAN DO TO SUPPORT THEIR MUSIC SCENE


PURCHASE THEIR MUSIC

This is kind of a no brainer option but it will help. Visit the bands website, and order a cd, a .99 single if you can't afford the entire album. Visit Bandcamp or Reverbnation and donate! Some sites let you pick the price for the song you download. Find them on record label pages, itunes or use up that free digital amazon credit you might have to buy a song or two.


DONATE

Visit Bandcamp or Reverbnation and make a donation. If they don't have these options available, message them for their Paypal,Venmo, Patreon link.



LISTEN TO THEM ON SPOTIFY (A LOT!)

Listening to Spotify albums is another option. Just make sure you listen A LOT, because the Spotify payout to artists is ridiculously low!


BUY THEIR MERCH

Order some band merchandise. A tee shirt, some stickers, or some fancy colored vinyl. Do they create art too? Paintings, cool jewelry, vintage clothes. You name it, they might be selling it.


SHOP LOCAL (ONLINE)

Message your favorite local independent record store and place an order. Many vendors out there are advertising that even though the brick and motor location is closed, they are still open to make sales. Order a gift certificate, a tee shirt, record a cd. Find the shops Facebook page and ask them if they are taking online orders. This also goes for instruments and instrument supplies.

SUBSCRIBE TO THEIR YOUTUBE

Find their youtube page and subscribe. Watch their videos and like them! Bands who have more than 1000 subscribers can monetize their channel and earn cash from folks watching their videos. Infact while you're at it -subscribe to my channel ;)



WHAT ARTISTS CAN DO


STREAM YOUR PERFORMANCE ONLINE

If you have a computer, go on to a social media page like Facebook, Instagram or Youtube and record a live stream. It doesn't have to be fancy. Just enough for fans to get their fix of you. Don't forget to put a big fat jar (hint hint) labeled TIPS in a conspicuous location during your performance. Be sure to list your link to receive your donations and mention it during your performance. Paypal, Venmo, Patreon are some popular choices.


SELL YOUR MERCHANDISE

Create a social media post offering up your goods. Buy one tee get a free sticker! If you don't want to catch the virus, mail the mech out. Don't forget to consider the price of mailing out your merch because mailing via snail mail can get expensive.


FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT (IF YOU CAN)

This is not an option for many self employed and independent contractors out there but it is for some. Unemployment rules have changed for gig workers due to the Covid-19 crisis. Here are some interesting articles on the topic if you'd like to learn more.

https://www.npr.org/local/305/2020/04/13/833332449/what-gig-workers-need-to-know-about-collecting-unemployment

https://www.musicartistscoalition.com/#!/ab5


BOOK FUTURE GIGS!

And last but not least -be sure to get proactive and make sure those canceled gigs get rescheduled. You may not be able to get an actual date yet, but a simple guarantee from the venue or the club owner that the gig will be rescheduled will probably make you feel more in control of your future.


Please feel free to share any additional ideas to the universal music community out there.