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91% of musicians say they can no longer afford equipment

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Musicians across the music industry could face a large-scale ‘cost of working’ crisis due to ongoing inflation, a new study reveals.

According to a report published music charity Help Musicians, 91% of artists face this crisis, while many reveal that the current cost of living rates are negatively impacting their careers. Of those, some worry that they will no longer be able to afford music equipment.

Out of the 500 artists surveyed, eight in ten said they were worried about meeting rent or mortgage costs as inflation rates continue to rocket. Nine in ten also revealed that their mental health has been impacted.

Help Musicians also tied these factors to current affairs in the UK such as Brexit, which has been detrimental on the music industry over recent years. The charity described its impact as ‘brutal’.

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“It is hard to imagine any point since the Second World War when it has been tougher to be a professional musician  —  put simply, the current environment is brutal,” said James Ainscough, Chief Executive of Help Musicians.

The pandemic had a catastrophic impact, with most simply unable to perform. Afterwards, venues were booked up for months or years in advance due to rearranged gigs,” he added.

“This has been followed by Brexit, which has impacted their ability to tour, for many emerging musicians a vital step in building a sustainable career.”

Elsewhere in the survey, Help Musicians found that 98% of musicians are worried about making sufficient income over the next six months. Of those surveyed, 22% said they were considering leaving the music industry altogether.

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Help Musicians suspects that the industry will need to take £8 million from reserves by the end of the year to give musicians the support that they need.

“It is now, sadly, all too common to be informed of highly skilled musicians deciding on alternate career paths, arts organisations having to shut down, or community orchestras and choirs folding in these extremely harsh financial times,” said musicians and HM Ambassador, Dame Evelyn Glennie.

“It takes a great deal of physical and mental energy to function and sustain a career in music; the current challenges are unprecedented which is resulting in a catastrophic avalanche of stress, disillusionment, lost talent and shortened careers.”

Read the full report from Help Musicians here.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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