Media release: Industry comes together to support musicians in need


THE UK’s record labels are coming together with streaming services and other parts of the music industry to provide additional hardship funding to musicians in need.

This funding comes on top of individual company initiatives to help artists and the wider music community through the COVID-19 emergency, and is being co-ordinated by record labels association, the BPI.

A total donation of £1.5 million will be made by UK record companies, Sony Music Entertainment UK, Warner Music UK and Universal Music UK, independent record labels Cherry Red and Demon Music Group, The BRIT Awards, Amazon Music and music licensing company, PPL, to Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund and to other initiatives that are supporting artists.

The majority of the donation (£1.25 million) will go directly to Help Musicians, enabling the organisation to reach a further 2,500 musicians in need of immediate financial help. In addition to this, £250,000 has also been set aside to support musicians through other channels, including other musicians’ wellbeing charities and support to the grassroots live sector.

The BPI will welcome additional contributions to these causes from its members, partners and third parties on an ongoing basis, with further donations from independent labels and other streaming services expected.

Like many sectors, the music industry has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19, with artists severely impacted by the cancellation of live concerts and recording sessions, disruption to release schedules, and the closure of record stores and music venues.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive, BPI and BRIT Awards, said: “All sectors of the music industry have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but grassroots artists who rely on festivals, touring and recording sessions for the bulk of their income are particularly hard hit.

“The UK’s record labels, digital services such as Amazon Music and music organisations including PPL have already done a great deal individually to support the people they work with, but we also recognise the need for an additional collective effort to support those who face the most immediate threat to their livelihoods, to add to the welcome measures announced by the Government.

“The music community always comes together when called upon, and we hope this further contribution drawn from all parts of the industry will help to sustain artists in need through this very difficult time.”

The BPI-co-ordinated top up means the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, which has received well over 17,000 applications in just two weeks, will be able to make grants to a further 2,500 musicians in hardship. The fund was created by Help Musicians to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians are currently facing and aims to help reduce the worry many musicians are experiencing about their mounting household expenses.

James Ainscough, CEO Help Musicians, said: “Musicians’ continuing need for emergency financial relief saw the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund surpass 17,000 applications in two weeks. It is only thanks to the generous input of the UK’s record labels, streaming services, BRIT Awards and PPL, as co-ordinated by the BPI, that we are able to process these applications and support many more musicians over its original £5m target.

“This incredible donation will allow us to help a further 2,500 musicians facing immediate crisis and provide essential support to those in need.

“Help Musicians has worked hard to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians for nearly 100 years. Our work has never been more vital or relevant and it is only though partnership and collaboration from many in the music industry that we are able to make the biggest possible difference at this crucial time.”



Gennaro Castaldo +44 (0)20 7803 1326 / +44 (0)7801 194 139

Toby Leveson  +44 (0)20 7803 1300

For Help Musicians
Liz Stokes +44 (0)7824 448 377

Notes for editors:

Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund

The fund aims to help reduce the worry many musicians are experiencing about their mounting household expenses.

About Help Musicians

Help Musicians is an independent charity, with an extraordinary history. For nearly 100 years, it has provided a broad spectrum of help, support and opportunities to empower musicians aged 18+, at any stage of their career, from times of great need to times of opportunity, providing a lifetime of support when it is needed most.

The charity is uniquely placed to take a personalised approach with each individual supported, through its integrated programme that offers creative development and health and welfare services. Help Musicians aims to make a meaningful difference to the lives of even more musicians by growing reach across the UK in the coming years.

The charity is passionate about a world where musicians thrive.

To support Help Musicians, click here, email or call 0207 239 9100.

About the BPI (British Phonographic Industry)

BPI champions the UK’s recorded music industry, safeguarding the rights of its members and of the artists, performers and label members of collecting body PPL.

Its membership consists of well over 400 independent labels and the UK’s three ‘majors’, which together account for 85 per cent of legitimate domestic music consumption and one in nine albums sold around the world.

BPI promotes British music overseas through its trade missions and the Music Exports Growth Scheme. It provides insights, training and networking with its free masterclasses, Innovation Hub, Insight Sessions, WidsomWednesdays events, and reports. The BPI administers The BRIT Certified Awards, co-owns The Official Charts, organises The BRIT Awards and BRITs Week, and is also home to The Mercury Prize.

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