The world is in mourning. With each passing day another industry takes another devastating blow, hundreds of thousands are being left unemployed, businesses and schools & universities have closed their doors and deaths are still rising.
Industries that took decades to build have come to a grinding halt overnight, the healthcare, manufacturing & retail sectors are being worked to breaking point, and enjoying any form of culture has been eradicated with the cancelation (and rightly so) of events & gatherings for the foreseeable. In short – life as we know it, and had planned it, has drastically changed and is showing no signs of returning to ‘normality’ anytime soon.
As a performer, promoter, events worker & freelancer – I, like many others – rely on the entertainment industry as my sole source of revenue. With the cancellation of Glastonbury Festival (where I spend five months of my year), the banning of mass gatherings & the closure of pubs, cafes & bars – I watched my entire year’s income & livelihood slip through my fingers in a week.
But I am not alone, and neither are you. In times of crisis, it is important not only to band together but to try our hardest not to get sucked into the seemingly never-ending waves of anxiety, uncertainty & misery. No one knows how long this current state of affairs is going to last, but for anyone still in the mentality that this will ‘blow over in a month’ – I fear you may be in for another slice of disappointment.
The reality of not being able to generate income, or enjoy the very things that fuel our livelihoods, while watching the infrastructure we built so passionately dwindle so rapidly is daunting; and in addition to the new self-isolation and social distancing measures, has the potential to cause both devastating economic repercussions to the industries affected, as well as affect the mental wellbeing of the population.
So what do we do? We do what we do best – adapt. The human race is resilient, and no-one more so than those who choose to submit their souls to the devil that is the entertainment industry. Within weeks, the comradery, ingenuity & compassion displayed between communities and individuals alike has been commendable – with industries lending a hand to one another to keep each other afloat & adapting their business models; communities extending help to everyone, regardless of age, gender or race; online communities growing & continuing to flourish, and new ways of enjoying experiences & generating income already manifesting.
In a heartwarming open letter to the NHS, recently un-employed freelancers offered their time and services to alleviate pressures, and creatives the world over are designing ways to keep people’s spirits high & time filled during the uncertain months ahead. Small and sensible steps to keeping the industry afloat have already begun and they include things like skipping your refund to a cancelled or postponed event, supporting artists through Patreons & reputable streaming services, buying merchandise, donating to charities, signing petitions & buying from local businesses that are still in operation – all of this needs to continue if we want to one day return to the industry we invested our lives into.
People Powered a group of creative freelancers have put together this great letter offering support to our #NHS
If anyone needs their brilliant building skills and second to none organisational talents, give them a ring. pic.twitter.com/5JU8IBxsz6
— Tracy Brabin MP 🌹 (@TracyBrabin) March 19, 2020
In keeping with this ethos, In-Reach wanted to gather as much useful information as possible, updated weekly, on how you as an individual can access both emotional & financial support at this time, but also how you can help your wider community & invest into everyone’s future. We have also included links to publications running similar articles, and if you have anything you’d like to contribute, please email email@example.com.
If ever there was a community that could band together to sustain a legacy, it is ours & I have high hopes for the future. But for now, we are limited to living day to day and as a result, have no choice but to do what we can to adapt, stay sensible & hopeful – we’re all in this together.
Access emergency funds available for those struggling financially due to the impact of COVID-19.
Universal Credit – Information on how current benefits will be affected & how to claim if you have been made unemployed as a result of Covid-19 can be found here. Information relates to employees, employers, and self-employed workers
Direct Gov – Although in its early stages, the Government has announced help with rent, mortgage payments & income – keep up to date as the situation unfolds here.
Equal Sound – Direct financial assistance to musicians who have lost work as a result of coronavirus-related event cancellations, who can provide proof of cancelled work – found here.
Help Musicians – An independent UK charity that is supporting both active and retired professional musicians, check out their website for helpful information.
Youtube – Start blogging, uploading & connecting
PubHub – A virtual pub where you join or create a table to invite friends. Thepubhub allows you to stream films together, dance, sing, quiz, life draw, music etc – basically anything you can do in a pub.
Hobbies – Ever wanted to learn the guitar or how to cook? Now is the time. Pick up a book, watch a tutorial, join online gaming communities or relive a childhood passion – it’ll pass the time & keep your brain active.
SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY (BOTH ONLINE & LOCALLY)
Patreon – Support the likes of Hyroglifics, Selecta J-Man, IMANU, Flexout Audio, Sustance, Kiril, Black Barrel, Submarine, & The Caracal Project, among thousands of other artists via their Patreon sites.
Tuition & Tutorials – Make the most of your free time & get tutorials from some of the best in the game – have a look at Twitch & individual artist pages for info.
How To Help – Join local groups & see how you can support your area here
Alternative Income – With additional pressure on industries, certain sectors are calling out for workers – these include Farmwork, retail positions at Lidl, Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, & Co-op and drivers for Deliveroo & UberEats.
Every Mind Matters – NHS help & support (mental health) here
Help Musicians Health & Welfare Team – firstname.lastname@example.org telephone: 0207 239 9101
Music Minds Matter – contact MMM@helpmusicians.org.uk telephone 0808 802 8008
Business Debt Line – contactwww.businessdebtline.org telephone 0800 197 6026
OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES
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