With the Covid-19 pandemic on everyone's mind, the world is slowly shutting down into isolation to curb the spread of the infection. Travel bans, mass gathering restrictions and imposed isolation has brought bars, venues, theaters and restaurants to a halt in many parts of the world.
Although we're fortunate to live in a connected society where many can work from home, there are still those who rely on a job that is not pandemic proof. A single concert alone employs the band, venue, staff, production crew, agents, managers, label and more. With tours and festivals of every size being canceled or postponed, many of your favorite artists and their crew remain locked at home, stretching their emergency money in any way possible, with an uncertainty of their future. The effects of this shut down are far-reaching. It's the most crucial time ever to help your favorite artists in need. With that said, I present five ways you can help any artists, musicians or creative around the world.
Every band has merch, many with freshly printed designs for tours that have been canceled at this time. If you were planning on attending one of these shows, your financial support would mean the world to them simply by purchasing the merch you would have at one of their shows.
Many labels are getting behind their bands recovery right now, so it's a great time to buy from official channels while supporting your favorite artists in the process. Labels like Deathwish Inc are currently running a "pay what you want" digital music sale where all the proceeds go directly to the bands, and artists themselves like Intronaut's Sacha Dunable offering discounts on custom guitars to help his staff.
Your favorite venues usually have discounted merch for sale and can really use the help, too. You're all out of reasons not to get involved!
Touring is a big industry and takes a lot to put together. From the costs of travel with multiple members and crew, to gear rental, marketing money, the costs and time behind international visas… it really begins to pile into a major blow, especially for bands who were set for overseas touring. Bands like Insomnium and Omsomnium Gatherum have fortunately made back their losses through the generous gifts of their fans, but there are many others still experiencing loss, like Devin Townsend's tour who just launched a GoFundMe page.
Labels like Sargent House are enabling donations to be added to their merch store, because every bit helps! Go to Bandcamp and support independent music by buying some. I urge you to check with artists and donate where you can.
Gimme Radio is also taking action by extending an offer to any touring metal band that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to host a radio show from their home, and promote their goods for sale directly on the platform as well as accepting donations for the artists.
Take A Lesson
Artists aren't the only people experiencing self-quarantine, hopefully YOU are too! That said, I can't think of a better time to do things you been putting off like picking up a book, a pen, a paintbrush, or even an instrument. Many of your favorite musicians already supplement their income through giving lessons on their downtime, and right now they probably have a lot of downtime to take on new students.
I know artists like Dave Davidson (Revocation), Kevin Hufnagel (Gorguts), Wes Hauch (Alluvial), Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth), and Ben Eller provide lessons via skype, to name a few.
Not interested in lessons? Head on over to Patreon for artists who provide exclusive content and creations for a low cost like Allegaeon, Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan, and many more.
Hire An Artist
You may be surprised to know that artists are often flexible to freelance if you're working on something they can get down with. Whether you need someone to write a sick guest solo for your new track, write a bio for your up and coming band, mix and master your work, or even design the cover of your next release, it might be worth checking in with artists you look up to. Beyond music, consider hiring them to create a video message like the Cameo platform provides. Now is the time to get creative, and ask, it could be the thing that helps them as you help yourself.
Let's not forget there are many performers who also create personal artwork and books for sale like like Gojira's Mario Duplantier, King Diamond's Jodi Cachia, Slipknot's Jay Weinberg, Lamb Of God's Randy Blythe, Behemoth's Nergal and many more.
More often than not, a tour is meant to promote a new album and coincides with a scheduled release. Since tours have been pulled, but album schedules are still in effect, it creates a very unfortunate circumstance for bands with upcoming albums that may potentially go unnoticed. This is where you can help us get the word out!
By keeping the hype alive for bands like Code Orange, Igorrr, The Black Dahlia Murder, Testament, Lucifer, August Burns Red, WVRM, Azusa, Benighteed, Aborted, Trivium, Katatonia, Deafheaven and Warbringer to name a few, you'd be helping to remind people of some incredible music scheduled to be released in the next few weeks. Don't worry, you're not alone, it's part of our job here at Metal Injection too!
If You Need Financial Support
Lastly, for anyone in the arts or music industry affected by the Coronavirus and feeling financial strain, you may be entitled to support!
If you're a service industry worker at bars and/or venues who feel financial strain due to the Coronavirus, check out The BSGG for their emergency assistance program.