Arts & Culture

Staying Alive: How the Music Industry is Coping in Tough Times

People are coming together in an attempt to bring music back and stop the slew of venues closing down.

Kennon Saad

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to keep us inside our homes and away from others, people are turning to music for solace. However, despite our dependency on music, many musicians are struggling to make a living. For many of these artists, their primary source of income is making music, specifically touring around the country or local areas. As a result of the pandemic, concert ticket companies have cancelled many of their sales and artists have cancelled tour dates. This has led to artists struggling to make ends meet, with performance venues going through similar financial issues. 

However, people are coming together in an attempt to bring music back and stop the slew of venues closing down. In the local arts scene, the Metropolitan Arts Council of Greenville has given $10,000 to ten different music and theatre groups in the Greenville area. This along with additional donations from the public have helped to keep various venues in Greenville afloat for the time being. 

On a grander scale, people are coming together to donate to artists and venues alike, and musicians are coming up with various ways to maintain their craft. Plenty of them have begun live streaming performances on Facebook or Twitch, where viewers have the option to donate money during the show. A new live streaming app called Release Party has recently been gaining traction in the music industry. Release Party allows musicians to schedule dates and times of shows, as well as set ticket prices and even limit the amount of tickets up for grabs. 

Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota’s first female senator and former candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, has stepped forward with a new bill to help the music industry. Titled the “Save Our Stages Act,” this legislation would give the Small Business Administration (SBA) the ability to provide various grants to “eligible live venue operators, producers, promoters, or talent representatives.” This act would assist musicians and venues significantly by helping them afford the cost of operating a live venue without any customers. The act itself has restrictions on eligibility for these grants based on how much money the artist already makes and how large the company applying for the grant is. This makes the act targeted specifically to help small venues and independent artists.

So, while music as a whole is certainly struggling, the people who appreciate it are working hard to bring it back. From musicians streaming their performances and using apps like Release Party to make a living, to the public raising and donating money, and politicians doing their part, there are many efforts to keep the music industry alive in these tough times.

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