As much as we’re looking for the positive stories coming out of the coronavirus pandemic, we won’t ignore the other news. US talent agency Paradigm is laying off around 100 of its 600+ employees, and implementing a “reduction in payroll” for those who remain. While the layoffs are hoped to be temporary, that’s not much comfort for the staff who’ll be losing their salaries in the meantime – especially if there are implications for their medical insurance.
Meanwhile, in the UK a survey by the Musicians’ Union of more than 4,100 of its members suggests that British musicians may have already lost £13.9m in earnings as a result of the pandemic and associated tour/festival cancellations. The union has now created a £1m hardship fund that members with “genuine and pressing hardship” can apply to for up to £200 each.
Also in the UK, indie body AIM has created a petition asking the government to create a temporary income fund for self-employed workers – who thus far are not included in the government’s announced plans to subsidise workers’ incomes. AIM is supporting a proposal for a £15bn fund for self-employed people, noting that “more than 70% of workers in the creative industries are freelancers”.
Finally, the Music Biz 2020 conference in Nashville has been postponed from its planned May dates to 16-19 August.