As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many industries aren’t able to function normally — if at all. At this point, the music landscape of 2020 already looks a whole lot different, with everything from major festivals like SXSW and Coachella being postponed or cancelled, tours running into the same fate, and albums being pushed back. So far, that’s the stuff that makes the headlines, but there are a lot of ripple effects to all of this. Local venues and service industry workers will suffer; many bands will suffer. But there’s also the huge apparatus of people who work in the industry otherwise, as crew members, who will be similarly suffering while all of these tours are on hold.
We’ve already seen some fundraisers popping up to help alleviate the strain on music industry employees who don’t have any income to rely on while all of this is going on. And now, some artists are also taking it into their own hands.
Today, the National have announced a campaign through which they’re trying to help out their crew while everyone’s grounded. “Our crew are the lifeblood of our touring operation and have become family through the many years we’ve worked together,” the band said in a statement. “As uncertainty looms over the state of the live concert industry, we will direct all profits from merch sales through our webstore, new Cherry Tree fan club enrollments, and sales from the Cherry Tree members-only store to support our crew members throughout this crisis to the best of our ability.
…new Cherry Tree fan club enrollments, and sales from the Cherry Tree members-only store to support our crew members throughout this crisis to the best of our ability.
— The National (@TheNational) March 24, 2020
Soccer Mommy has also embarked on a similar endeavor. Yesterday, Sophie Allison took to Twitter to announce that she would be selling T-shirts and posters and giving all the proceeds to her band and crew while they aren’t able to work.
hey i’m selling some tee shirts and posters of tour pics by monica murray and giving the proceeds to the band and crew since they can’t work for a while! available for a limited time only, show them some love and support https://t.co/fDOTorvNb0 pic.twitter.com/M9cgXYE4tk
— soccer mommy (@sopharela) March 23, 2020
There are a lot of ways people have been rallying for different corners of the music industry — Bandcamp and some labels temporarily waiving their commission so smaller bands could get all the proceeds from their sales, artists like Father John Misty offering new releases for charitable causes. Not every artist is at the level of the National or Soccer Mommy where they themselves would be able to do this kind of thing. But there are a whole lot of people behind the scenes that are impacted by these tour cancellations, so it’s cool to see some artists trying to figure out a way to help them out during all of this craziness.