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WITHOUT AID, U.K. MUSICIANS EYE NEW CAREERS

A third of U.K. musicians are considering abandoning the industry completely due to financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to research from the Musicians’ Union. The union is issuing an urgent call for more Government help.

In a survey of 2,000 MU members, nearly half (47%) said they have been forced to seek work outside of the industry, with seven in 10 unable to undertake more than a quarter of their usual work.

With furlough schemes coming to an end, 87% of musicians who were covered by the schemes say they will be facing financial hardship and a third didn’t qualify for any of the support available. As a result, 88% believe the Government has not done enough to support musicians during the pandemic.

The MU, which works to protect the rights of around 32,000 musicians, is asking the British Government to implement a seat-matching scheme, which would double the amount of ticket sales that venues operating socially distanced gigs take, and to provide sector specific financial support for musicians who can’t get back to work. 

“Getting musicians back to work is the priority. However, this is simply not realistic for so many of our members while social distancing remains in place,” Horace Trubridge, General Secretary of the MU, said. “We strongly urge the Government to recognize the unique situation that our members are in and to provide sector specific financial support for musicians.”

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