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Lucy Thraves

Editor

‘Avalanche’ of applications for support expected as government support drops

10:12, 16th October 2020

Help Musicians has raised the alarm on the scale of help that musicians will need over winter, with no date in sight on when musicians can return to performing live. 

The charity has already granted over £11 million in support to musicians since the pandemic started, and is expecting an ‘avalanche’ of new applications in the coming weeks, as the government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is set to be capped at 20% of average monthly trading profits from 1 November.

New research carried out by Help Musicians found that 96% of musicians say they have lost ‘the majority’ of their income and over half are earning nothing whatsoever from music.

James Ainscough, chief executive said: ‘The current circumstances for musicians in the UK is extremely worrying, with no end in sight to restrictions that prevent musicians earning from live performance.

‘Our new research shows the situation is awful – almost half of musicians are already worried about losing the roof over their head. What’s more their options to find alternative jobs are severely limited because the economy is in recession.

‘Those musicians we have been supporting financially for the last five months have received assurance from us that we will continue to support them until spring. We have been able to do this thanks in part to the £1m donation announced by the Arts Council last month. But we anticipate an avalanche of new applications for financial support in the coming weeks and so we need to raise millions of pounds more. The ongoing crisis for musicians means we need to renew our calls for donations large and small.’

Help Musicians is asking those who are in a position to donate to give whatever they can through the website, in order to help plug the funding gap. Every penny donated to Help Musicians goes straight to the frontline without any deduction to cover its operating costs or overheads.

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