Coronavirus has literally upended the music industry.
The already beleaguered live events industry was one of the first to shut down when COVID-19 began wreaking havoc on global economies and the health of millions. Thousands of events were cancelled or postponed nationwide. Album releases have come to a screeching halt and millions of livelihoods have been decimated in a matter of months.
With all the ongoing uncertainty, live events will be among the last to return as the industry faces a chasm of ongoing closure; in fact, 64 percent of the industry is at risk of permanent closure.
In response to this devastating reality, The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) have launched an awareness campaign to draw national attention towards the damage COVID-19 shutdowns have caused Canada’s live music industry – the artists, festivals, venues, promoters, clubs, concert halls, arenas, talent agencies, unions, crew and many others working to offer Canadians live music experiences.
Fans are encouraged to join the live music industry in support of this campaign by sharing their favourite live music memories, concert videos, and photos on social media, using the #ForTheLoveOfLive hashtag.
“Real people in your community are at risk of losing their jobs forever. They need additional, ongoing targeted support from governments to ensure that when COVID measures are lifted, Canadians continue to have access to the artists and live music experiences they know and love,” said Erin Benjamin, President and CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association.
One in four arts, entertainment, and recreation workers lost their job in 2020. That’s 114,400 artists, technicians, marketing staff, arts administrators, and other cultural workers who could no longer earn a living out of their profession, according to the Stats Can Labour Force Survey.
Over three times as many individuals AND organizations report very high or high levels of stress and anxiety today (76% and 79%, respectively) as compared to before COVID-19 (26% and 25%), according to the National Arts and Culture Impact Survey.
“As a performing musician in Victoria for over 10 years, the shut down of the industry has hit hard on not only a professional level, but a deeply emotional one as well. Watching peers in the scene lose gigs, venues permanently closing their doors, and the uncertainty of what live music will look like on the other side of COVID-19 weighs heavy on our hearts every day. When the pandemic hit we were the first to go, and we’ll be the last to come back. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I used to play for hundreds of happy, dancing people every week for a decade, and now nothing. I was living the dream and now it feels like that’s all it was,” says Victoria-based musician Lindsay Bryan who played in two bands, The Bright Side and LABS, and who recently wrote and recorded a single called ‘TV Doctor (Spread Cheer)’ as a form of creative catharsis.
The CLMA has released a “Live Music Recovery Plan”, with recommendations for the Federal Government, to help prevent devastating losses.
To show your support for the live music industry and learn more about the campaign, visit www.canadianlivemusic.ca/fortheloveoflive.