The pandemic brought a lot of uncertainty for many musicians. From major festivals to private parties, almost every form of live performance was affected and opportunities for gigging artists were severely limited. Some of the more popular bands managed to do very well during the pandemic with the help of streaming services, digital downloads and revenues from advertising, but many lesser-known acts struggled to cope with the changes and the gap between the big band and the small fry has never been greater.
How bad was the lockdown for industry musicians?
According to the World Economic Forum, physical sales during the 2020 lockdown dropped by as much as a third, while revenue from live performances was almost zero due to the ban on large gatherings. Though merchandising and album sales are obviously a key part of a band’s success, most musicians rely heavily on live performances for their main source of income so the loss of that revenue was particularly damaging. Fortunately, many of us are eager to start seeing our favourite acts live again and venues have seen increased sales since the relaxation of lockdowns over the summer.
New ways to enjoy live music
More and more focus has been directed into providing better ways to engage with fans online over the past couple of years. Many venues started live streaming performances and musicians turned to services like Twitch, YouTube and Instagram TV to create that fan connection that was lacking throughout the pandemic. If you know your favourite band or musician is live sharing a performance then consider organising a watch party amongst friends as a way of promoting their music.
But the show must go on
There’s nothing quite as good as a live performance, however, at bringing a sense of joy and wellbeing into our lives. The best thing about music after all is its ability to bring us closer together. You don’t have to be a venue owner or events organiser to book a live band either. Whether it’s for a wedding, a birthday or a Christmas party, there are so many occasions that can be made better with some live music. Now that social distancing measures have been lifted, we’re all free to party again and put the past eighteen months behind us.
Even with lockdowns easing around the world, times are tough for musicians and other artists. The good news is there are still plenty of live bands for hire so it couldn’t be easier to support your local musicians now. YouTube views and Spotify streams have helped keep many afloat, but booking live performances and hiring these artists directly is by far the best way to support your favourite bands.