64 per cent of musicians in the UK are considering quitting, new study claims

The huge financial impact of coronavirus has forced many to look elsewhere.

A new study has claimed that a staggering 64 per cent of musicians in the UK are considering leaving the profession due to the financial impact of coronavirus.

The stark outlook comes from booking site Encore, which surveyed 560 musicians to understand how the pandemic has affected them financially.

On average, musicians have lost £11,300 from cancellations since March 2020 and 87 per cent of them have fewer gigs booked for August-December 2020 than the same period in 2019.


When the statistics are broken down even further, the research also reveals that young female musicians have 34 per cent fewer gigs booked for 2020 than men.

It is also claimed that pop singers are the worst affected, losing an average of £19,900 in earnings as a result of cancellations since March 2020.

According to Encore, many musicians are falling through the gaps of financial support too – with 41 per cent failing to qualify for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The latest research comes after the Musicians Union revealed in April that 19% of their members were considering quitting a career in music due to a lack of government support during lockdown.

In a follow-up interview with NME, the MU’s General Secretary Horace Trubridge voiced fears that the number may be much higher.


“It’s hard for the musicians like the bands played by BBC 6 Music who were looking forward to a festival season where they can earn quite a decent amount of money playing across Europe, but they’ve lost all of that,” said Trubridge.

“Because of the nature of the streaming model, bands just don’t otherwise make enough to pay the bills. Some of my favourites like Squid, Black Midi and Fontaines DC make all their money from playing festivals. Fontaines could have played a festival for 10 or 15 grand. My god, they’d have to do a lot of streams to make that money from Spotify.”

Meanwhile, the government recently announced the first 135 music venues across England that will receive emergency grants from the £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund.