With the proliferation of Covid-19 many businesses and other organizations are closing or going suffering economically. Some that are suffering the most are the restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues such as movie theaters, basketball arenas, and concert venues. Also at the top of this list is the music industry. From singers to record shop owners to concert promoters, Covid-19 is affecting every area of the music industry.
Some of the more obvious ways the music industry has been impacted by Coronavirus is that major festivals, such as Coachella and Glastonbury, have been postponed or canceled. Pretty much all concert venues in the US are closed right now and ordered not to re-open until April 31 or possibly later. An article from the National Endowment for the Artists says that there are approximately 2.1 million musicians in the United States alone. The article also states there are well over 15 million people in the United States working in the music industry. This means we have over 17 million people unemployed currently due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
An article titled ¨Im Trying to Keep the Panic Down¨ from The Guardian Magazine interviewed Chris Forsyth, a musician and venue owner in Philadelphia. Chris claims the only thing he can compare Coronavirus to is 9/11. He talks about how Coronaivurs is affecting him personally, ¨I had a big tour coming up, 18 shows supporting White Denim. Here in Philadelphia, where I live, meanwhile, I have a place called Jerry’s on Front, with a little storefront where we do shows – if everyone was to practice social distancing you’d get maybe five people in there.¨ He concludes the interview with an optimistic message, ¨If were drowning, let’s see if we can hold each other up.¨
I had the opportunity to talk with Jamie Mckillop, a part-owner of Monqui Presents a huge concert promoting business that books artists at the Wonder Ballroom, The Edgefield, DougFir Lounge, and other local venues. I asked him how Covid-19 is affecting him and his business and he told me his company is currently shut down due to the no mass gathering rule and will open again when the rule is lifted. He explains how hard it is going to be when Coronavirus ends because he can reopen easily like a restaurant would, he has to find the bands which won’t do concerts for a while because they have had no time to let tickets sell.
Hopefully the music industry will return on April 31 but until then, make sure to practice social distancing and wash your hands!