The lockdown may be hard-hitting for some more than others. The creative community has shared the struggle and distress of getting by with or without crisis, and the pandemic makes it no easier for them particularly those who depend on live performances. With cancelled tours and ticket sales halted, here are alternative ways you can support your favourite artists.
When they say the virus knows no borders, gender, race; it doesn’t discriminate based on occupation either. No public gatherings means no live gigs. No live gigs means no income for artists who primarily make a living from events and performances. The livelihood of the creative community is waltzing on thin ice during these odd times (shout out to independent artists!); but many of them are retreating to a digital stage to keep themselves and their fans suffering from cabin fever. When their job is to entertain, we have all the reasons to show up and support.
Purchase their songs and records instead of streaming them
Unless your stream count is in the millions, chances are, your slice of the pie is bite-size. Whilst streaming services are conveniently available, consider buying that record you’ve claimed as an all-time favourite, or the single from the band you have newfound love for. Sites like Bandcamp allow you to discover music whilst directly supporting the artists. Alternatively, buy music offline! Independent music stores, in lieu of major retailers, are the best places to go.
Shop their merchandise directly
Show love by sporting their official merchandise. Browse their official online store, website, and social media channels for their catalogue. Are you a true fan if you don’t already follow them on Instagram?
Attend virtual gigs
Artists have been opening their virtual doors, welcoming fans to their bedrooms and living rooms turned into a humble stage. Just like us, they too are isolating and ‘working from home’, spreading musical joy from the comfort of their room to your screens. You can livestream virtual concerts and DJ sets or watch recorded content that have come out during the lockdown. Stay posted on the latest news on social media, or, when in doubt, go to YouTube where livestreams are aplenty.
Pop celebrities Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry took to Facebook and Amazon respectively to perform live for great causes during the pandemic; whilst Iggy Pop streamed his Post Pop Depression concert from 2016 on YouTube, alongside a backing band with Arctic Monkeys’ Matt Helders and QOTSA’s Josh Home and Dean Fertita. The 1975 hosted a self tribute festival on Instagram, putting a spotlight on up and coming stars like Phoebe Bridges and Beabadoobee. So, keep your eyes peeled for future dates!
In the wake of the disaster, production companies and others in the scene have set up online fundraisers to collect financial aid for musicians and music-industry workers in need during the crisis. Spotify started a COVID-19 Music Relief charity to amplify the relief efforts for those affected. A Melbourne-based music manager started a fundraising campaign on Facebook to be donated to Support Act, a charity delivering crisis relief services to artists, crew, and music workers. Many European countries like the UK have set up Hardship Programmes for musicians, which you can search for online. You can also check if your favourite artists or production house have personal donation campaigns running.
Tell your friends. Share online.
The act of sharing your favourite track through a post or tweet could help spread the word out for rising artists. The more streams they get, the more they can keep doing what they love!