The coronavirus has been causing havoc for industries across the globe, including the music industry. Especially for small, indie artists, the revenue they make from doing live shows is vital for their ability to continue doing what they love. In the case of a global pandemic, though, all of those shows have been canceled, leaving artists struggling to make it by.
Having been social distancing/self quarantining for about two weeks now, I’ve been doing my best to live by the very wise, meaningful words of Craft Brew Geek when he told a group of us:
This is the time when we need to take care of the people who take care of us.
He said this within the context of doing what we can for local restaurants and breweries that are trying to weather this storm. There are plenty of places where we’re regulars and have been the recipients of preferrential treatment from those establishments for months or even years: getting your drink filled before other people, getting deals on your order, etc. As these businesses try to tackle the biggest threat to their very existence that they’ve ever seen, we’ve been doing our part to get carry-out food and drinks whenever possible and while leaving the most generous tips we can because every little bit helps. I’d highly encourage anyone reading this to do the same if it’s within your means.
But restaurants and breweries aren’t the only ones who take care of you. My memory tends to be pretty good, so I trust it when I recall Hayley Williams posting a message on Twitter years ago that amounted to:
Be there for music because music will always be there for you.
I tried searching for the post, but it was so long ago that I’ll never find it. The sentiment is certainly true though. Everyone has had that song that has made an event, be it a party, a roadtrip, or just a special moment with friends, unforgettable. Everyone has felt sorrow and heartache and didn’t know how they would’ve been able to get through if it wasn’t for that one song that knew exactly how you felt.
Music has had such a profound impact on my life, and I can’t imagine where I’d be without it. It pains me to see so many small artists having to cancel their shows, knowing they’re upset at having to let down their fans and worried about how they’re going to continue making ends meet and create the art we all love so much.
That’s why today is such a great day to support indie music. Today Bandcamp is waiving their revenue share on all purchases through the site. This means that 100% of the revenue is going to support artists who need it now more than ever. Dozens of artists I listen to regularly, and some of whom were mentioned in our music stats episode have Bandcamp profiles. Even if you don’t need a digital album because you always use Spotify or Apple Music, consider buying an album anyway just to help out and show some love for the people who have made such a difference in your life.
Pre-orders count as well, so you can show some support for artists with upcoming albums. Also note that most albums have a minimum price but offer you the ability to throw a little extra on top if you want. Please help out if you have the means.
If you don’t have the means, you can still help out! The payouts are garbage, but stream as much music from indie artists as you possibly can. Check out the Twitter profiles for artists you love; many have started doing online shows. For example, on her YouTube channel, Tessa Violet has been streaming what she’s coined “The Something To Look Forward To Tour”. There are still 3 shows left. Tune in for those and look for other artists who are doing the same!
Do whatever you can to support artists and musicians now because every little bit helps. It’s time that we take care of the people who take care of us.