How to support the music, comedy and arts industries in the UK during COVID-19
With the cancellation of many live events, the performing arts world has been hit especially hard by the pandemic. Here are some ways you can help.
By Vanessa Vallon
With the cancellation of practically all live events, the live events world has been hit especially hard by the social distancing measures required by the pandemic. If large gatherings remain prohibited for the rest of 2020, the live music industry stands to lose a minimum of £900 million.
We’ve compiled a list of ways those of us UK fans can continue to enjoy and support the creative industries we love during this difficult and distanced time. Check it out.
Let The Music Play
A coalition formed by UK Music and the UK Live Music Group along with multiple live music companies and artists, Let The Music Play is advocating for government support across the live music industry. Read the group’s letter to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden here and view the full list of names, which includes artists such as Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Paul McCartney, here. Music fans can check out ways to support here.
Theatre Support Fund
The Theatre Support Fund, created by theatre professionals Chris Marcus and Damien Stanton, has compiled the artwork of the 16 biggest West End musicals onto one must-have T-shirt. All profits from ‘The Show Must Go On!’ t-shirt sales go to theatre industry initiatives including Acting for Others, Fleabag Support Fund and the NHS Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. Grab one here.
Music Venue Trust
With 556 venues across the UK facing the risk of closure, the independent music venue industry is in dire straits. Thankfully, Music Venue Trust is here to help. The charity, which supports the UK’s favourite grassroots music venues, has launched the #saveourvenues initiative, which allows artists to partner with venues for livestream fundraisers. All funds go to venues-in-need to prevent their permanent closure. Get more information about the initiative here.
Royal Albert Hall
Throughout the many months of Covid, the Royal Albert Hall has kept the music playing via exclusive artist live streams, with performances from Bedouine, Imogen Heap, Kaiser Chiefs and more. Although available for free, viewers are encouraged to donate to the institution to support its historic building and the livelihoods of its staff members. Get more information here.
The beloved Thames-side theatre, an independent charity of education, performance and research, has continued to offer online educational courses and entertainment for all-ages throughout the pandemic. But with 95% of its income generated from ticket sales and other on-site programming, the establishment has been losing nearly £2 million a month. To help the theatre hold on, donate here, and enjoy some excellent live-streamed plays here.
Known as a launchpad for the most exciting new artists, the Soho Theatre is adamant about continuing to nurture and support rising talent. They are currently streaming full-length shows filmed live at the theater, including Jen Brister, Joel Dommett, and more. Theatre lovers who want to help the show go on can donate here.
Heckle The Virus
Streaming comedy platform NextUp is doing their best to help stand-up comedians in urgent need of financial support due to the lack of work. Through their #hecklethevirus crowdsourcing initiative, they’ve been gathering and allocating 100% of donations to comedians in need every Friday. Join the movement by helping out our funny friends here.