British labels and streaming services launch £1.5m fund for musicians effected by coronavirus

BPI, the governing body for UK music, have coordinated a £1.5 million fund to provide financial assistance to musicians in need during the coronavirus crisis.

Major labels including Sony, Warner and Universal, as well as indie imprints like Cherry Red and Demon Music Group have donated towards the fund, as have the likes of the BRIT Awards, Amazon Music and music licensing company PPL.

As Music Week reports, most of the fund (£1.25 million) will be given directly to the charity Help Musicians, which will allow them to reach an added 2,500 artists in need of support through their Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, which has already received over 17,000 applications in just two weeks.

The rest of the money will be set aside for other channels, including other wellbeing charities and grassroots music organisations.

“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,” said Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPI & BRIT Awards.

He continued: “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.”

“Help Musicians has worked hard to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians for nearly 100 years,” added James Ainscough, the charity’s CEO.

“Our work has never been more vital or relevant and it is only though partnership and collaboration from many in the music industry that we are able to make the biggest possible difference at this crucial time.”

Earlier this week, meanwhile, a host of indie musicians from across the world including Alt-J, William Doyle and Anna Meredith formed an ‘Isolation Choir’ and released a new single ‘Inside I’ll Sing’, to raise money for Help Musicians.