UK Managers already lost big on corona
According to a survey by MMF the UK nationwide quarantine has resulted in over £50 million in lost revenues for artists and managers in the UK. That includes at least £3.1m lost by music managers in commissions.

These survey, launched on March 17, of 150 music managers and artists in the UK, detailing the impact of more than 2,100 cancelled shows, delayed campaigns and lost earnings. Total losses of £68m are predicted for artists and managers in the market if concerts continue to get cancelled over the next six months.

Conducted by the the UK’s Music Managers Forum (MMF) and the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), most of these losses relate to live. However, impacts on recordings and merch (via lost sales) as well as artist brand deals (via lost contracts) are also substantial, say the two organizations.

The £50m-plus estimate strictly relates to managers and artists; it does not include losses for promoters, venues, festivals, record labels, publishers or other industry entities.

The reality of the pandemic’s impending impact on music workers’ finances in the UK began to set in last Monday (March 16), when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (who has himself tested positive for Coronavirus) recommended social distancing measures including avoiding large gatherings, venues, pubs and clubs.

On March 18, the UK’s iconic Glastonbury Festival, which was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary in June, announced that it would not be going ahead this year.

As government communications to the British public changed from recommendations to an official stay-at-home-order with non essential shops, pubs and restaurants shuttered, music retailers, such as HMV (the country’s largest) have temporarily closed their doors until it’s deemed safe to reopen.

Yesterday also saw Live Nation cancel two of its major UK festivals, Download and the Isle of Wight, both scheduled to take place in late June, while AEG Presents today announced the cancellation of the six-date All Points East festival, which would have seen the liked of Tame Impala, Kraftwerk, the Chemical Brothers and Iggy Pop perform in London’s Victoria Park over the last two weekends of May.

According to the MMF and FAC – which represent over 800 UK music management businesses and the rights and interests of the artist community – the survey’s findings raise “grave concerns” for the long-term sustainability of the commercial music sector.

Furthermore, the MMF and FAC argue that the UK’s largest music businesses and organizations should be doing more to help artists during the crisis.

Over the past week, a number of emergency funding initiatives have been launched – including those from the likes of PRS for Music, whose eligible members can claim up to £1k and of course, Spotify, which will be making a financial contribution of up to $10 million to help artists and other members of the music community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the MMF and FAC call the these and other funds “incredibly welcome at this moment,” they acknowledge that “far more comprehensive support packages” have been rolled out in countries outside the UK.