A £5 million hardship fund set up for struggling UK musicians, has run out of cash.
The fund – created by the charity Help Musicians and launched on March 25 – is in the process of arranging one-off payments of £500 for 10,000 musicians across the UK in order to help them with household expenses and other living costs.
But the demand from musicians has been so great, that the charity claims it received approximately one month’s worth of calls from musicians asking for help in just one day as the coronavirus continues to spread across the country.
Help Musicians’ Chief Executive James Ainscough said: “We are delighted to be able to help out 10,000 musicians during this difficult time, but the reality of the situation is that many more need help, and the funds have run dry.
“Not only do thousands more need assistance, but the £500 grants we have been able to provide will not last the 2-3 month gap until they receive government support. Not only do we need more donations to help us provide immediate hardship relief, the government must act with urgency if musicians are to have any hope of surviving financially over the next few months.”
He added: “The UK is a nation of music lovers and we are seeing online and from balcony to balcony, how music can connect the isolated and lift the spirits of a nation. As hard as it is for many at this time, we need to ask those who can afford it to help by donating, because the bottom line is that musicians need vital financial assistance.”
The news comes after grassroots venues in the UK put a call out for £1million in donations and funding from the more successful corners of the music industry and huge artists in order to prevent closures and “a disaster that will last 10 years.”
Music venues are currently in a very perilous position, following the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus – after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for pubs, bars clubs, restaurants and the like to close in the name of public safety.
The Music Venue Trust has also called on the UK government to cancel the Festival Of Britain and use the funding to secure the future of Britain’s grassroots culture amid the coronavirus crisis.
Those who want to make a donation to the hardship fund can do so here.