The coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc on the entertainment industry. As festivals and concerts continue to get postponed or canceled, those who depend on those events to feed their families are being left to fend for themselves.
In an effort to ease to financial impact of the virus, Lizzo, Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, Gwen Stefani, Diplo and several other industry stars have signed a letter from the Music Artists Coalition asking Donald Trump to provide some relief to the music community and slow the “existential threat” posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
It specifically asks for help for the “hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on the live music business.”
John Mayer, Maren Morris, Dave Matthews, Lionel Richie, Little Big Town, Mark Ronson, Meghan Trainor, Sheryl Crow, Charli XCX, the Doobie Brothers, Tim McGraw, Troye Sivan, Joe Walsh, Don Henley, Def Leppard and Idina Menzel are among the other artists who’ve signed the letter.
“[T]he concert business is as drastically and negatively impacted as the airlines and the hospitality industries, despite a lack of media attention,” the letter states. “The men and women who work tirelessly to bring live music to fans are unable to work from home and have no alternative means of supporting themselves and their families… Concerts are not just about the headliner: the foundation of live music are the touring musicians, truck and bus drivers, stagehands, production teams, crews who handle lighting, sound, equipment, security, and so many others do not have any option for work as there are no live events for the foreseeable future.
“The music industry is facing an existential threat that is unprecedented — the touring business as we know it has disappeared without warning and without a safety net for hundreds of thousands of people. MAC believes the impacted people in the music industry are one of the groups most in need of government assistance.”
As reported by Variety, the Recording Academy also issued a letter to Congress on Wednesday (March 18) asking leaders to “protect our nation’s musicians, performers, songwriters, and studio professionals,” particularly “self-employed gig workers,” and provide “tax benefits, interest-free loans and direct support for small businesses and nonprofits.”
In the wake of the pandemic, major festivals such as SXSW, Coachella and Bonnarroo have been canceled or postponed.
Check out the Music Artists Coalition letter in full below.
The cancellation of concerts, tours, and festivals means that the musicians and crews who make every concert a special experience for music fans are now out of a job and have no other way to pay rent or put food on the table. Concerts are not just about the headliner: the foundation of live music are the touring musicians, truck and bus drivers, stagehands, production teams, crews who handle lighting, sound, equipment, security, and so many others do not have any option for work as there are no live events for the foreseeable future.
The cancellation of concerts, festivals, and tours has brought an abrupt end to income for hundreds of thousands of people. For these dedicated individuals, it is not an unwillingness, but an inability, to work, when all concerts, tours, and recording sessions are canceled or indefinitely postponed. While some concerts will be rescheduled, it is inevitable that many will be canceled and unable to find a venue in which to perform when this crisis has passed.
The music industry is facing an existential threat that is unprecedented – the touring business as we know it has disappeared without warning and without a safety net for hundreds of thousands of people. MAC believes the impacted people in the music industry are one of the groups most in need of government assistance.
Thank you for leading the fight to ensure Americans are able to pay their bills and survive these trying times.
Amy Lee (Evanescence)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Brandon Robert Young
Cold War Kids
J Ross Parrelli
Jerrod Bettis (p/k/a “Skins”)
Jonny Pierce (p/k/a “The Drums”)
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds
Leslie Odom Jr
Little Big Town
Morgan Kibby/White Sea
Rory Andrew (p/k/a “Wynne”)
Stone Temple Pilots
The Doobie Brothers
The White Buffalo
Walk Off The Earth