PRS Foundation announces virtual festival to support struggling musicians

The PRS Foundation has shared details of a new virtual festival to help musicians struggling due to the coronavirus.

The LCKDWN event will take place from midday on Friday (April 24), with all proceeds going to the PRS Emergency Relief Fund.

Katie Melua, KT Tunstall and Nitin Sawhney are among the acts set to perform across the day, with the likes of Black Futures, Joy Crookes, Linda Perry, Nadia Rose and more also on board. More names will be announced across the week.

The PRS Emergency Relief Fund has been set up to help songwriters and musicians who have seen their earnings affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and the LCKDWN event says it will “pay tribute to the songwriters and composers getting us through this difficult time.”

Discussing the event, PRS for Music CEO Andrea Martin said: “We have seen first-hand the difference the PRS Emergency Relief Fund has made and I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has donated so far. PRS Presents LCKDWN is a way for us to collectively celebrate music creators, to support our industry as a united community and to champion the music lifting spirits and getting us all through this challenging time.”

In March, a £5million fund was set up by Help Musicians to help thousands of struggling musicians, but by the start of April it had run out of cash.

This week, a number of British labels and streaming services launched a £1.5million fund of their own to help musicians affected by coronavirus, with the majority of the money going to Help Musicians.

Speaking to NME about the best way to help musicians during this time, Alex Luciano, singer of US indie-pop duo Diet Cig, said: “I think the biggest thing people can do to support us and other artists who would take a huge hit from not touring would be to buy merch and music, especially from sites like Bandcamp and official merch stores.

“The money goes more directly to the band, and I do think that could help so many of us stay afloat at least until we can tour again.”