Coronavirus Hits the Music Industry

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(Courtesy Pexels)

By Parker Dunn

 

COVID-19 has been the talk of the town since it was declared a pandemic on Wednesday, March 11. Panic, hysteria and the hoarding of toilet paper and hand sanitizer seem to be the main occupants of people’s minds at this terribly trying time, but something that has been overlooked by most is the coronavirus’ effect on the music industry.

According to Forbes, “While nobody knows how the worldwide epidemic will pan out, analysts say that music may lose $5 billion.” This should come as no surprise — with each passing day, more and more artists are either postponing or canceling shows and tours altogether. Big names like BTS, Green Day, Mariah Carey and Avril Lavigne have decided to take these steps in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Some of my personal favorite artists — The Strokes, Thom Yorke and MGMT — have also followed suit.

While big artists can afford to take these hits, others aren’t so lucky. Mia Berrin of musical group Pom Pom Squad, who had a gig at the now-canceled South by Southwest music festival, spoke with Vulture about the situation. “It’s all kind of depressing and complicated to be thinking about myself and my career when there’s so many more dangerous things happening,” Berrin said. “But it also means I’m not making money, and all the things I’ve worked so hard for, for years … I have no idea what’s gonna happen.”

In spite of such trying times, some artists are still attempting to make the best of their situation. Jami Morgan of American hardcore punk band Code Orange, who Twitch live-streamed their record release show on March 14, told Vulture beforehand, “We saw this as a wall and a door, to start something new for everybody,” he said. “It’s an interesting scenario, because we have the venue locked down already and we’ve worked on every minute of the production for months. It’s gonna be a full-scale concert — not just us at practice.” That’s exactly what it was — a full-scale concert with no audience, and I must say, although you can only capture so much of the thrill of a concert within a live stream, Code Orange came as close as you can get on Twitch that night.

This is an extremely tough time for touring musicians and workers of all sorts who are affected by social distancing and other byproducts of the coronavirus pandemic. Times like these call for music fans from all across the globe to come together and help alleviate some of the strain and hardship our favorite artists are experiencing at the moment. You can help support these artists by listening to, sharing and buying music, as well as making donations and purchasing merchandise.

Amidst this pandemic, it’s important to stay calm and keep in mind those that are deeply affected by the virus. Instead of blowing all of your cash on needlessly massive amounts of toilet paper and disinfectants, consider using that money to support your favorite bands, artists and musicians today.

 

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Editor’s note: Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough, tiredness and shortness of breath. These symptoms are believed to occur between two and 14 days after a person is exposed to the disease. If you have these symptoms and have recently come into contact with a person who is known to have COVID-19, or if you have recently traveled to an area with community spread of the disease, you should call your doctor. Areas with community spread of COVID-19 are believed to include China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Seattle. If you do not have a doctor who you visit regularly, please call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 or the University of Utah Health hotline at 801-587-0712. Do not go to a healthcare facility without first making arrangements to do so.