Media release: BPI/BRIT Awards donate £54,000 to Stagehand’s COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund


THE BPI/BRIT Awards can announce the donation of £54,000 to the COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund administered by Stagehand – the Production Services Association (PSA) Welfare and Benevolent Fund (1).

The money, which will help Stagehand’s Relief Fund approach the quarter of a million pounds mark (£240,000), will go to support live music and events professionals hit hard by the effects of Covid-19 on their industry.

The contribution from the BPI and BRIT Awards comes on top of £1.62 million (2) of BPI-co-ordinated funds donated earlier this year by the recorded music sector to charities and organisations supporting artists, managers and venues through the pandemic – bringing the total distributed to date to £1.67 million.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive, BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, said: “Our industry is deeply inter-connected and while everyone is feeling the pain of the Covid-19 pandemic in some way, no sector has felt its force to the same degree as the Live business. This includes, the expert technicians and events professionals who help make great performances happen.

“That’s why it’s right that, in addition to previous donations to charities benefitting artists, managers and venues, we should not overlook this important part of the music family. We rely on their skills every year in staging The BRIT Awards and the Hyundai Mercury Prize, and we’re delighted to assist the important work of Stagehand supporting live production crew.“

Mike Lowe, Stagehand’s chair of Trustees, said: “As the BPI and BRITs donate £54,000 to Stagehand, it is met with our sincerest appreciation. Forming part of our ongoing Covid-19 Crew Relief Campaign, their contribution will be invaluable, and has now enabled the fund to reach the £240,000 mark.

“As time goes on, the crisis worsens, and we continue to see first-hand how the current economic situation is affecting skilled live production crew. This money will reassure those struggling to meet food or housing bills that the industry they love has not forgotten them.”


Notes for editors:

(1) About Stagehand

Founded in 1998 by PSA members, Stagehand is the original live production welfare and benevolent fund. Our team of volunteer trustees oversee fundraising and distribution through task-specific funds.

It is widely recognised that live events were the first sector to be impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic crisis and will be the last sector to return to sustainable activity. With a largely self-employed workforce, many of whom have fallen into the gaps in Government support, and widespread redundancies amongst employees, Stagehand intends to raise funds to help those in most need, with the simple aim of helping to keep roofs over heads and food on tables.

(2) Previous Covid-related donations

The BPI has co-ordinated two major previous donations in April and August totalling nearly £1.62 million made by the recorded sector community. This includes UK record labels Sony Music Entertainment UK, Warner Music UK and Universal Music UK, independent record labels Cherry Red and Demon Music Group, as well as contributions from Amazon Music, The BRIT Awards, PPL, and YouTube Music.

Funds/organisations to have benefited include Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship
Fund, Nordoff Robbins, Music Support, Music Venue Trust and the Music Managers Forum (MMF)
Rebuild Project.

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 450 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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