The COVID-19 outbreak has adversely impacted the music industry, particularly live events where dozens of artists have been forced to cancel or postpone concerts in order to help slow the spread of the disease. Many acts are now struggling or are unable to maintain their income.
Billboard reports that “music professionals adversely impacted by the virus” will be prioritised for support from the fund.
Both The Recording Academy and MusiCares have donated $1 million (£829 million) each to the fund. Together, they hope to secure donations from record labels, major music companies, streaming services, and a handful of “high-profile artists”.
MusiCares says it will allocate funds based on need, with the majority of it going to artists who live paycheck to paycheck. Money will not go to those acts who do “worldwide tours on jets”.
The Recording Academy’s interim head of the board told Billboard: “My first thought was, ‘This is going to get out of control. The need is going to overwhelm us and our ability to help our music community.
“Some people need help with their rent, some need to buy groceries, some need medical care. The infrastructure around MusiCares is set up to deal with specifically that. I think it’s going to be one of our greatest challenges for the next couple weeks and months, to be able to get this going and serve as many people as we can serve. The Recording Academy and MusiCares are here for you in a time of need, and we hope to be able to alleviate some of the suffering or hardship you’re going through.”
Music fans are also being encouraged to make donations where possible.
Some artists have already called on financial help from their fans to alleviate them from certain predicaments. Brooklyn artist Torres appealed for help after her European tour was impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and she needed to fly her band and crew back to the US.
You can find out if you’re eligible for their coronavirus relief fund here. Music professionals must have at least five years of employment in the music industry or six commercially released recordings or videos. They then must show proof of concert cancellations due to precautionary measures taken in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
COVID-19 has hugely affected the entertainment industry. As of today (March 17), New York City has close all movie theatres, concert venues, nightclubs and small theatres in a bid to tackle coronavirus. Mayor Bill de Blasio described the disease as an “unprecedented threat”.