Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash

While many turned to music for entertainment and comfort during the lockdown, the music industry was struggling to survive. The cancellation of concerts, tours and festivals have resulted in an 80% decline in revenues, putting 170,000 jobs (around 64% of the industry) at risk. It’s easy to overlook the many thousands of people who make up the music industry outside of the artists: event organisers, sound engineers, agents and publicists just to name a few. However fundamentally the music industry is vital to so many millions more around the world who love their music.

The 'Rethink. Reskill. Reboot' campaigns

The government unveiled a £1.57 billion support package for Britain’s art and culture sector in July, including grants for music venues. However, with restrictions coming back into force in October and the following lockdown in November, even small scale live music events were barely able to make a revival. Furthermore, there are fears that this funding will not extend far enough to protect jobs, leaving many in the industry feeling undervalued; a government campaign that suggested those in the arts should ‘Rethink. Reskill. Reboot’ only exacerbated this feeling.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly caused the music industry to evolve. The lockdown did not prevent artists from producing and performing music, giving rise to orchestras on zoom, concerts from home and rare glimpses into the private lives of worldwide musical icons. There are likely to be more significant and long term impacts of the pandemic that are yet to play out; the increased importance of streaming services to artists during lockdown has created momentum in the industry to try and promote more artist-friendly platforms, moving away from those with pitiful payouts such as Spotify and Apple Music.

Many of the most exciting events in the DCGS music calendar were unable to take place, including the Junior Concert, Founder's Day last year and the Joint concert with DCHS this term. However, student-led groups including Sixth Form Orchestra and Sixth Form Choir have been running since September as well Sax Quartet and Girls' Choir, with Jazz Band and Chamber Choir restarting this November. Being able to enhance musical skills and play with others is invaluable to so many students, and music at Challoner’s will bounce back stronger and more important than ever when restrictions are lifted.