The coronavirus might seriously affect artists' income
The reports about Covid-19, the coronavirus, will affect society in many ways. One of them will be the cancellation of many public events. Several artists have canceled their planned tours in Asia, and the South By Southwest festival in Texas, that was going to take place in March, has been canceled. The calling off of several more events is bound to follow, and where shows are to take place it's likely that ticket sales might drop.
As we are in a crisis and don't know for how long this will continue, we need for artists and venues to consider the situation. Musicians' Corner is the last to want to see the live scene go... Live music is what counts to us. That's where it happens. And people need to gather and experience live music. It's an important element in the well-being and quality of life. However, right now... Right now, and given that we are all agreed that we go back to normal in every sense of the word, that is to the live format to a hundred percent once this is over, so that we don't propel ourselves into an Orwellian state here...where many are sitting at home and there is little human contact, we need to call upon the possibilities that modern technology offers, and have artists, venues and festivals for example consider a pay-per-view live stream option for their shows in the second half of 2020. People need to move quickly here. The technologies are there and available. And maybe we can't ask for the best quality everything in the haste with which this option should ideally be put in place. The truth is we might be in a hurry here. We do hope that Musicians' Corner isn't one of few who see this, but that many have realized this and are working on it. If this isn't happening, if measures aren't being taken, many many performers might, in a worst-case scenario, lose a lot of income this year. And they still might with this plan B. Perhaps people won't buy streamings if we need them and if there are any. Still, if events are forced to cancel, and if the customers aren't buying tickets to what will go ahead, this solution offers at least the chance to try and do shows, perhaps to empty rooms and to cameras in some places. We don't know.
This development is hazardous to many people's livelihood, but artists are especially vulnerable in what is transpiring. For many who might be forced to stay at home from work there will be insurances and societal benefits alleviating some of the financial burdens of that. Artists generally don't have the kind of safety-net required for this extreme type of force majeure. And if this situation takes years to sort out, and if festivals won't be booking further as they don't plan on running and concert venues will be prevented from staying open, etcetera, you realize that measures need to be taken.
Hopefully we are wrong in thinking this could be an outlook. But before we know that we are wrong and can all say that this is over, we need for this industry and its artists and players to try to prepare with backup plans.