(Please note: page last updated May 2020)

The long-term impact of coronavirus is still wildly unclear, but now lockdown has been in place for a while and most of the summer’s festivals and events have been cancelled, performers are taking a serious hit.

Many self-employed performers rely on regular gig and ticket sales for their income, and most don’t have savings to fall back on in the event of a quiet month. When something like this hits, the impact on the musicians you love may be long-lasting.

So I’m going to try and bring together links to live crowdfunding campaigns that are a way to support performers at a distance. If you’re a musician or performer who’d like to be included here, and/or would like to say something about the impact of venue closures and gig cancellations on your work, please get in touch (hello@jobreeze.co.uk). These aren’t campaigns I’ve worked on; they’re just what I’m aware of in my own musical networks.

Limited-time funding campaigns

Securing the future of Towersey Festival – Crowdfunder

“Towersey Festival is a totally independent festival and the oldest in the country. It is still family run and is Not for Profit. When the Festival makes a profit (which is not as often as you might think) we put it back into the Festival and support artists and local organisations. We save funds when we can for a rainy day but wiping out an entire year is not something we could ever be ready for and there is no insurance that covers this global catastrophe for a small event like ours.”

Spell Songs Youth Project – Crowdfunder

“The Spell Songs Team are taking the proven inspirational qualities of The Lost Words: A Spell Book and The Lost Words: Spell Songs and reaching out to a diverse group of young people from an inner-city environment, offering them the opportunity to be immersed in the nature, music, art and poetry of both the original Lost Words book and subsequent Spell Songs album.”

Folk On Foot: Front Room Festival – GoFundMe

“After the success of our first Front Room Festival, loads of you asked us to stage another one – so here we are! We have an equally amazing line up of artists and we need your help to put on Folk on Foot Front Room Festival 2. If you can, please donate to support musicians who’ve lost their livelihoods during the coronavirus lockdown.”
When: Spring Bank Holiday Monday 25th May from 2pm BST for over seven hours of unique music.

Musicians’ Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund – Crowdfunder

“It’s times like these we need musicians and the music they create the most. But too many are worried about how they will pay the bills during this crisis. That’s why we started the MU Coronavirus Hardship Fund. Providing small grants of £200 to provide urgent relief for musicians in genuine financial hardship.”

The Unthanks: Please Keep Us Ticking! – Crowdfunder

“As a self employed band, we’re careful with money because the cost of recording, producing, product designing, manufacturing and marketing can cost upwards of £40k, even for a modest release, upfront, before a penny comes in. So we save up to bring you music, but the loss of income from cancelled shows means we are in danger of spending the budget for our next record on basic survival. We’re a five piece band with seven children between us, so even decent chunks of earnings, put away for forthcoming releases, can slip away quickly!”

Secure the future of FolkEast in 2021 and beyond – Crowdfunder

“FolkEast is an independent, family run, family friendly annual festival held at Glemham Hall in Suffolk. We set out in 2012 with the aim to bring together like minded people to enjoy quality folk music in beautiful surroundings for three days in August. It has grown to be so much more.”

#HelpHowTheLightGetsIn – Crowdfunder

“In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and with the health and safety of festivalgoers, staff, speakers, performers and the community of Hay-on-Wye at the forefront of our minds, we have no choice but to cancel HowTheLightGetsIn Hay 2020. The crisis is devastating for an organisation like ours which does not take a profit. We have already invested in the planning and infrastructure for the event, and will now be unable to make those costs back in ticket sales.”

Rachel Newton: new solo album – Kickstarter

“I was scheduled to go into the studio this month to finish recording my 5th solo album due for release later this year. My co-producer/engineer Mattie Foulds and I have been working hard these past few weeks to find ways of making sure the project is still possible to achieve in this new self-isolating situation we all find ourselves in. Everyone involved has been incredibly adaptable and luckily for me, we all have the means to record at high quality from home, sending audio files back and forth and communicating online. Thank you technology!”

Unearth Repeat: Cancelled Launch Tour Band Fund – GoFundMe

“It’s often the case that the people who make tours possible are overlooked, so I want to try to pay my band members and sound engineer something in compensation for the lost work in May and throughout the festival season. Every penny donated here will be split five ways to attempt to compensate them for 19 lost gigs plus the festivals we were due to play at.”

Help us present Edinburgh Tradfest in 2021 – Givey

“This fund is set up to help make sure Edinburgh Tradfest can be presented in 2021. While there are still many unknown factors at play, not least the state the economy and regular funders will be in next year, we’d like to make sure our artists, technical team and venues who have all had their gigs postponed until next year, are supported when we launch our program in 2021.”

#SaveOurVenues – Green Note – Crowdfunder

“Your donations via this campaign will be used to contribute to our running costs during this difficult time, supporting our freelance staff, as well as allowing us to develop our online offering as a means of adapting to this new and unprecedented turn of events. It is becoming increasingly clear that, even when lockdown is lifted, it will take quite some time for us to be able to open fully and operate at a level that will meet our monthly outgoings over the coming year.”

Ongoing/repeat funding projects

Folk On Foot podcast – Patreon

“Matthew Bannister, host of the all walking, talking, singing podcast “Folk on Foot”. In each episode a top folk artist takes me for a walk in the landscape that has inspired their music. We have fascinating conversations and they perform on location.”

#FolkloreThursday – Patreon

“The #FolkloreThursday hashtag day runs weekly, each Thursday, on Twitter and is moderated from the @FolkloreThurs account between 9am and 8pm UK time. The website (http://www.folklorethursday.com) is updated weekly with a range of fabulous articles about selected folklore topics and the best folklore events and happenings in the global folklore community.”

The Old Songs podcast – Mixcloud (support via joining Mixcloud Select)

“The Old Songs Podcast explores the stories behind traditional songs – where they came from, who sang them, how they’ve changed and where they’re going.”

Kathryn Williams – Patreon

“I’ve been writing songs and making records since 1998. My fans have always kept me going by coming to gigs and showing their support and love in many ways. I’m hoping through Patreon I can carry on creating with your support and offer a new way to be closer to you all with videos, songs and original art as well as VIP access to live events.”

Polly Paulusma – Patreon

“I am a working musician and life-long student of the porous boundaries between song and literature. I am currently releasing a fourth album, tentatively entitled ‘The Pivot on which Everything Turns’, to subscribers, across two years, a song a month. I am also working on a collaborative musico-literary project with Kathryn Williams and Kirsty Logan, while completing my PhD on the folk-singing of Angela Carter.”

Professor Elemental – Patreon

“I have launched an emergency whimsy service for any Patreon people who are locked down or self isolated. Mail me and I will send you things to keep you distracted for a bit.”

One-off payment/donation options

Eliza Carthy – Ko-Fi

“My band are halfway through their not-a-tour just now; it would be lovely if you could help them get by. If you can’t, don’t worry. But we’re about to wash you in a lovely wave of content! Whatever you can give’ll help. We’ll be back before you know it. X”

Sam Sweeney – streaming tip jar (via Paypal donate button)

“For those who stream my music but want more than 0.004p per track to go to the artist… join the conversation on my FaceBook page!”

For creators

If you’re a creator and your need is more urgent, I’m also going to start pulling together sources of practical and financial support.

Corona Advice For Musicians

“This page has been created to be a central source of support and advice for all musicians during the coronavirus period. We will update regularly as the situation develops. A collaboration between Help Musicians, the Incorporated Society of Musicians, The Ivors Academy, the Music Managers Forum, the Music Producers Guild, the Musicians’ Union, and UK Music, who are grateful for the support of many others in the music industry.”

Musicians’ Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund

“In response to the widespread cancellation of work that has hit our profession as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have taken the decision to set up a £1M hardship fund that members with genuine and pressing hardship can apply to.”

PRS for Music Emergency Relief Fund

“We set up the Emergency Relief Fund in March, along with our partners at the PRS Members’ Fund and PRS Foundation to help our members in these extraordinary times. The money is available to PRS members globally and will be offered in grants of up to £1,000 each, depending on need.”