COVID-19: £2.5 Million Fund To Help Musicians Running Out Of Money

9 June 2020, 14:14

Musicians relief fund running out of money after five days
Musicians relief fund running out of money after five days. Picture: Getty Images

A £2.5 million musicians fund has run out of cash as lockdown runs into the third month and countless people don't qualify for the government's furlough scheme.

A COVID-19 musicians fund from charity 'Help Musicians' is already running out of money as those in the industry face months more of 'empty diaries' and live music likely to be one of the last industries to return to normal after the pandemic.

The charity says 3,500 people have applied for financial assistance since Friday and its already reaching capacity and others could become stranded.

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Touring and gigging musicians would usually have a summer full of festivals and music tours ahead of them and are some of the hardest hit by the pandemic as many aren't covered by the government's furlough scheme as they're self-employed.

James Ainscough, the charity's Chief Executive, told the BBC: "It's a bigger, longer crisis than any of us could have thought possible."

He explained the grants aim to keep people afloat but also to reduce anxiety and other mental health issues that can arise from precarious employment.

He said: "It's about stopping someone becoming homeless, stopping somebody from having to go couch-surfing, and keeping them in a state where actually they've got a hope of remaining creative."

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