All over the world, governments have rightly asked us to socially distance and avoid gatherings to help flatten the curve.
In response to this, thousands of events are being canceled and postponed. This has huge financial implications for organizers, artists and those who work behind-the-scenes and rely on live events to make ends meet.
Everyone's daily routine is impacted and we're all eager to ride this out and get back to normality. For many of us, normal means heading out to the club and dancing away the stress of the week, enjoying a concert or having a festival filled summer. But these activities can only happen if our venues, concerts, artists and promoters get some help through these tough times.
Over the past month, an explosion of awesome initiatives from both fans and organizations have appeared. Here's how you can get involved:
1. Make a donation
The most direct way you can help is to donate the money you'd usually spend on events to fundraisers and charities. For instance Spotify have partnered with a variety of music charities to create a fund. Spotify will match all the donations made through this scheme, up to the value of $5 million.
Also be sure to check out the social media channels of your favorite local venues, organizers and independent artists to see if they already have methods set up to keep them going through the crisis.
2. Join virtual parties and live streams
Hundreds of artists are now turning to platforms like Facebook, Instagram YouTube, and Twitch to live-stream their performances. This is a great way for those of you who've missed out on seeing your favorite artist live in the next few months. A good one to mention is Club Quarantine, which is part of Resident Advisor’s #SaveOurScene campaign, headed up an epic 40 hour LiveStream where fans can donate to help keep the independent electronic dance artists and behind the scenes workers and has so far raised over £1million!
Not only does it bring a huge sense of a community and entertainment while self-isolating but these streams often include PayPal or links to donate to Covid-19 crisis funds, so that fans can contribute financially if they wish.
3. Keep buying tickets and hold onto the ones you have
With new government safety measures being announced every day, it's easy to panic and to start claiming a refund or to resell to another fan before knowing the full picture, our advice is to keep hold of your tickets until you hear from the organizer. The majority of events are choosing to postpone events until the fall or 2021 when hopefully things will be more clear, we suggest that you only resell your ticket if you cannot attend the new event date rather than claiming the funds back from the organizers. This will ensure that organizers have enough to see them through until their next edtitions.
If unfortunately, an event is canceled and if you're in the financial position to do so, you could choose to not claim a refund as one way to support the scene. You can also support an artist, organiser or venue by buying tickets for their future events.
4. Sign your name on petitions and campaigns
Over the past couple of weeks various online petitions have been started to help create crisis funds for event workers who work flat out behind the scenes. The Nighttime Industries Association in the UK is campaigning for a freeze on loans, utilities, rent and taxes. While in the Netherlands, the Vereniging van Evenementenmakers sent a letter to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate proposing a number of additional measures to give the industry a little more room to breathe, such as financial customization, cooperation from the (local) government and temporary rules to reduce ticket refunds.
On The Move - The Cultural Mobility Information Network is compiling an index of resources on petitions in motion categorized into countries and regions. Please do have a look and see if you can add your support.
5. Buy merch and vinyl
Many artists and organizers have their music and merch available on e-commerce platforms like Bandcamp, Gumroad, Spotify, and Shopify. While we're all at home, there's no better moment to invest in some new loungewear for those long couch sessions!
Vinyl is a great way of listening to music. It's a complete departure from the streaming mindset and can be a really relaxing way to discover new music or rediscover great albums. Or maybe you need some new art for the wall? Vinyl is a great way to spend money and support artists. There are lots of places to buy from (Platomania, Amazon, Bol, and more) but by purchasing a record or album from Bandcamp you can ensure that more of the cash goes into the artist's pocket!
6. Keep on streaming music
Last and not least - keep on discovering new artists and listening to your favorites. The most convenient way is to stream as much as possible. And if you can afford to pay for a subscription then your streams are much more valuable for the artists you are listening to. Every little helps.