U.K. LABELS OFFER HELPING HAND

British record labels have pledged £1.5m ($1.87m) to help musicians in need during the coronavirus crisis. Universal, Sony and Warner are all participating in a fund alongside independent record labels Cherry Red and Demon Music Group, and The BRIT Awards, Amazon Music and music licensing company PPL.

The majority of funds (£1.25m) will go to Help Musicians' Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, enabling the charity to reach a further 2,500 musicians in need of immediate financial help. In addition, £250k has been set aside to support musicians through other channels, including other well-being charities and support for the grassroots live sector.

The fund is being coordinated by record label association the BPI. Additional contributions for these causes from its members, partners and third parties are welcomed on an ongoing basis, with further donations from independent labels and other streaming services expected.

“All sectors of the music industry have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but grassroots artists who rely on festivals, touring and recording sessions for the bulk of their income are particularly hard hit,” Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said. “The U.K.’s record labels, digital services such as Amazon Music and music organizations including PPL have already done a great deal individually to support the people they work with, but we also recognize the need for an additional collective effort to support those who face the most immediate threat to their livelihoods, to add to the welcome measures announced by the Government.

“The music community always comes together when called upon, and we hope this further contribution drawn from all parts of the industry will help to sustain artists in need through this very difficult time."

The new funding joins help from other sectors of the business. That includes a support fund from the Association of Independent Music (AIM), which aims to distribute £1m to 1,000 freelance workers in the next two months, and the Musicians’ Union £1m Coronavirus Hardship Fund, which is distributing grants of £200 to members impacted by the COVID-19 virus.

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