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Lucy Thraves

Editor

A third of British musicians consider leaving industry, MU survey reveals

8:04, 22nd September 2020

A Musicians’ Union survey has revealed that 34% of British musicians are considering leaving the industry due to financial pressure caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The survey also showed that nearly half of MU members have had to seek work outside the industry, with seven in ten unable to undertake more than a quarter of their usual work. 87% of musicians will be earning less than £20,000 this year – well below the UK average income of £29,600.

With furlough schemes coming to an end, many of those who had up until now been covered will now be facing financial hardship. 88% of respondents said that the government had not done enough to support musicians.

Horace Trubridge, general secretary of the MU, described the figures as ‘devastating’. ‘In better times,’ he continued, ‘our members drive a £5bn music  industry with their talent … We appreciate all the government has done to support our members through the furlough and self-employment income support schemes so far, but it must not abandon musicians now. With social distancing measures still in place, venues can only sell at around 30% of usual capacity.’

For this reason, the MU is calling on the government to implement a ‘seat-matching scheme, which would take venues’ potential revenue to 60%, providing a lifeline to musicians and the wider industry.’

To find out more and add your support to the seat-matching scheme, visit www.musiciansunion.org.uk

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