Help Musicians launches £5M Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund

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UPDATE: We’ve received well in excess of 17,000 applications for the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund and will continue to process the outstanding applications and fundraise in order to pay all that are eligible.

We will now not be accepting any new applications for this particular strand of hardship funding.

The £5m Coronavirus Hardship Fund was launched quickly to provide immediate financial relief to musicians while Government support options were revealed. We recognise that musicians’ needs during the Coronavirus crisis continue to evolve and as such we will take a multi-layered approach to helping people with hardship over the coming months.

Targeting our resources towards those most in need, we will help musicians to survive in the short term and support them as they return to work. We are currently working on new support initiatives which best suit the needs of those suffering significant hardship and we will roll these out in the weeks ahead. There is more to come.

Do keep in touch with, our social channels (FacebookTwitter and Instagramand our website here, to find out about more about our developing hardship support, creative opportunities and wider help and advice.

Today Help Musicians has launched the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, a new offering specifically created to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians may currently be facing.

The impact of the Coronavirus on musicians’ lives and careers is unprecedented, and it’s been recognised that the charity’s normal person-centred approach of Health & Welfare support needs to be boosted in this exceptional period to give as many musicians as possible immediate financial relief. A fund of £5m has therefore been created to help reduce the worry many musicians are experiencing about their mounting household expenses.

Eligible musicians are able to apply for a one-off payment of £500 through an online form. We encourage musicians only to apply if they are indeed suffering significant financial hardship to enable us to provide help quickly to those who need it the most.

Help Musicians’ Chief Executive James Ainscough said: “For almost one hundred years, Help Musicians has worked hard to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians, and there has rarely been a time where that has been as important as it is now. Our Health & Welfare team has received hundreds of calls and emails over the last week from musicians needing urgent financial support. The Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund has been created to provide emergency financial aid to musicians in an urgent manner at this critical moment. We continue to work in collaboration with many industry partners to keep the vital resource website up-to-date, and our usual channels of person-centred aid continue. Given the magnitude of the situation, only the government can fully provide what musicians require to survive the months that lie ahead. We are shocked at the government’s reticence to help some of the most vulnerable workers, and we are fully supportive of the campaign for meaningful help to be provided. In the meantime, we hope however that this emergency funding option will help thousands of musicians in the weeks ahead."

For more details on who we can support and how to apply, see our Coronavirus Advice page.

Following the initial £5m released by Help Musicians, the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund has been further generously supported by:

Amazon Music
We are delighted to receive a significant donation from Amazon Music towards our Coronavirus Hardship Fund, enabling us to reach even more musicians with financial support.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation
A tremendous £50,000 donation from Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, further match-funded Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project (bringing the total to £100,000), enabled the Coronavirus Hardship Fund to support a further 200 musicians in need. Read more here.

Arts Council England
A generous donation from ACE has enabled the Coronavirus Hardship Fund to support a further 1,800 musicians. Read more about the initiative here.

A phenomenal BPI-co-ordinated donation from 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 PPL enables the Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund to reach a further 2,500 musicians in immediate crisis. Read the full details here.

We were honoured to receive £500,000 from music licensing company PPL as part of its £700,000 donation to various music industry Hardship Funds. Read more here.

The Royal Society of Musicians
RSM’s incredible collaboration on the Fund contributed a further £500,000, helping another 1,000 musicians affected by Coronavirus. See the full details and read more about RSM's work here

Spotify kindly listed Help Musicians as one of the first three benefactors of its COVID-19 Music Relief effort. You can read more about the initiative here.

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