The Recording Academy and its charity MusiCares have launched a coronavirus relief fund for artists impacted financially by the pandemic. This comes in the wake of COVID-19 causing serious turbulence within the music industry, as canceled tours and legendary music festivals leave artists struggling or unable to maintain their income.
The coronavirus relief fund is for “music professionals adversely impacted by the virus,” reports Billboard. So far both The Recording Academy and MusiCares have donated $1 million to the fund, and they’re in the process of securing donations from streaming services, record labels, major music companies, and a handful of “high-profile artists.” They’re also hoping everyday music fans who want to help struggling artists will chip in donations, too, regardless if it amounts to $5 or $50,000.
MusiCares will allocate funds based on need, with the majority of it going to artists who live paycheck to paycheck — not those “going on worldwide tours on jets” — so as to make the biggest difference possible.
To find out if you’re eligible for their coronavirus relief fund, head to the MusiCares website. Music professionals must have at least five years of employment in the music industry or six commercially released recordings or videos. From there, they must show proof of concert cancellations due to coronavirus precautionary measures.
“My first thought was, ‘This is going to get out of control. The need is going to overwhelm us and our ability to help our music community,”’ said interim president, CEO, and chair of the board Harvey Mason Jr. “Some people need help with their rent, some need to buy groceries, some need medical care. The infrastructure around MusiCares is set up to deal with specifically that. I think it’s going to be one of our greatest challenges for the next couple weeks and months, to be able to get this going and serve as many people as we can serve. The Recording Academy and MusiCares are here for you in a time of need, and we hope to be able to alleviate some of the suffering or hardship you’re going through.”
While nearly every musician under the sun is delaying their tour because of coronavirus, others like Neil Young, Chris Martin, and Ben Gibbard are livestreaming concerts from home. It’s not a permanent fix for the larger problem, unfortunately, but it’s certainly a considerate option for the time being.
For a complete list of all the tours, festivals, and other productions impacted by the coronavirus, click here.