Since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, every industry around the world has been impacted in various ways. Health sectors are being pushed to their limits and many companies have been forced to temporarily shut down, with the risk of going under.
Within those at risk are businesses in music, arts and entertainment. Many of which are stuck in limbo, fighting financially to see another day. Without support, our scene’s beloved brands, venues, and events could be lost forever.
Recent statements from the UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF); a national non-profit trade association and the UK’s leading festival representative body, have published some frightening statistics.
With the cancelation of countless events and festivals throughout 2020, a lack of sufficient funding will lead to 92% of these events not being able to survive financially. On average, AIF members are at risk of losing £375,000 in non-recoupable costs, with almost every member’s insurance policies not covering COVID-19. As a result, 1000s of parties in the UK alone could vanish.
“This is not a temporary shutdown of business – it is an entire year of income and trade wiped out” – Paul Reed, CEO of AIF
The AIF has listed some recommendations for the government to support the entertainment industry through this crisis. These include extending staff and self-employed furlough schemes, rolling over licensing fees and providing business support packages to help events return in 2021.
The UK’s multi-step plan to ease lockdown has laid out a roadmap for various industries to restart trading. However, this does not include those in the entertainment sector such as festivals and events. Meanwhile, countries like Spain and The Netherlands have outlined clear plans which will enable venues to safely re-open with limited capacities.
So, what can you do to help in times like these?
As ravers, it’s crucial to support our scene and the community it has built. Now more than ever, the rave needs your help to fight through this storm and get back to doing what we all love. There’s different ways you can contribute to this, all from the safety of your home :
First and foremost for those who can, is the option to donate to causes and movements directly funding our beloved music scene. There’s a wide range of fundraisers available, which reach every aspect of the industry so that you can support what matters most to you. One particular crowd-fund named #saveourvenues is focused on keeping grassroots British venues alive. For more info, check out their website here.
Like, share and tag
Social Media has never been more important for pages to connect with their fans and keep the fire burning, with many hosting virtual events. If you see a post from a page which means something to you, like it, share it, and tag someone in it. Those three small steps will keep the business behind that page alive during these unprecedented times.
Keep your ticket
Many shows have been postponed to a later date. Holding on to your ticket instead of requesting a refund, will help those behind the scenes to come back bigger and better when this madness is over.
Alongside fundraisers are many petitions crying out for your support. This totally free contribution might be the difference between action being taken, or not. It only takes a minute, and it might save something you cherish dearly.
Purchase merchandise, tracks and albums
Copping your favourite brand’s t-shirt or an album from a small independent label will help provide them with the vital income they need to survive. Many of these businesses are releasing limited edition items and unreleased tracks which may have never seen the light of day. Something every fan will want!
History proves that by uniting, we can overcome the greatest challenges. COVID-19 is by far one of the most testing experiences any of us will live through. In the face of such adversity, we must stick together and do what we can to support those affected.
Long live the rave.
Cover Image : Luke Deakin