5 Simple Ways You Can Help The Rock Scene Get Back On Its Feet

COVID-19 has devastated the music scene as we know it, but the rebuild begins here and it’s on every single one of us to do our bit

5 Simple Ways You Can Help The Rock Scene Get Back On Its Feet
Andy Ford

There’s no need to dwell on the well-known details, but suffice to say that rock, metal, punk and alternative music of all stripes has been floored by the events of the past few months. When we attended live shows back in early March, none of us could have foreseen that those would be the last times we’d enjoy that communal experience for a while. We likely didn’t appreciate it fully either, but as with all good things, only when it’s gone do you realise how much you need it in your life.

The knock-on effects of everything that’s happened since then has understandably left a lot of people in despair and feeling defeated. But – whisper it – as the days and weeks go by, some green shoots of optimism are beginning to spring through again. Rather than get bogged down in the negatives, we figured we’d highlight some of the positive ways in which we can all contribute to the rebuild job of getting rock music back on its feet. In the spirit of being the change you wish to see in the world, here are some simple things we can all consider doing, in our bid to help get the world back to something approaching the one we all knew and loved before…

Support The Bands And Artists You Love

This might sound like a complete no-brainer, but right now, your favourite band needs your love and support more than you might even realise. That means streaming their shows, following and engaging with their social media accounts, picking up any merch or physical media that you can afford, and generally letting them know that you’re rooting for them to make it through to the other side of this thing intact. Maybe your favourite artist runs a Patreon, for example – get on that and pledge whatever you can. There’s not a lot of money to made in being a band these days and 2020 that’s truer than ever, with the suspension of live music forcing your favourite acts to find new ways of keeping the financial wolves from the door. Do your bit, no matter how big, small or insignificant it may feel to you. On the other end of any gesture of support you can lend is someone you love and respect feeling worried about their future and ability to continue living a creative life. One day, when we all get to share music in the same rooms again, those little supportive acts may have gone a lot further towards making that happen than you think.

Support The Things That Support The Bands You Love

This is about us and it’s about every other music website, blog, podcast, YouTube channel or promotional platform out there. Behind each and every one are people whose very livelihoods are threatened, thanks to the fragile and codependent nature of the music industry ecosystem. But there are ways you can help. The weekly print edition of Kerrang! might be on hold right now, for instance, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need you to show up for us in the comments, in large numbers on the site, engaging with our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, subscribing to our newsletter and our YouTube, letting us know what you think while helping to lead the way in what we do in the future. Now more than ever, what your favourite outlets create is guided and shaped by you, and it’s time to support them in any way that you can. Get involved.

Start Your Own Zines, Podcasts And Blogs

Lots of people are still stuck at home right now, because lots of places of work or education aren’t quite safe to return to just yet. That means we all have a little more time and energy on our hands than we might otherwise have. So what’s stopping you – yes, you – finally building that blog, creating that zine about your favourite band, or starting that podcast you’ve had an idea for but have been putting off? If you believe in it enough, there’s nothing to stop you doing these things and making a success of them. Don’t worry about them being super slick or professional, too much. Just do it. As the wider industry reacts to a ‘new normal’ the democratisation of how we all find or consume our favourite music is bound to create fresh opportunities. That might just mean you. Need some more inspo? Check out what 10-year-old punk Arlo Lippiatt has been up to.

Make Your Own Music

In January 1977 Sideburns fanzine infamously printed an illustration of three simple guitar chords with the call-to-arms instruction: ‘Now Form A Band’, perfectly encapsulating the anarchic, DIY spirit of punk rock. These days, the playing field for making music couldn’t be more level. You don’t even need a guitar, or any instrument, in fact. Not really. If you have a computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet you’ve got the capability of making sounds in ways that previous generations could have only ever dreamed of doing. So go do it. Thanks to the financial pressures and harsh realities of missing so much time to touring and playing live, lots of bands will sadly fall by the wayside once all of this passes. But there will always be eyes, ears and opportunities for art and music to prosper. Get ahead of the curve and start creating yours now.

Keep Fighting The Good Fight

Hope is important. This too shall pass, and while the world feels bleak and grim in so many ways at present, we’ll get through this challenging period of time eventually. We’ll ultimately be stronger for the experiences we’ve collectively endured too, so don’t give up or think it’s enough just to wait things out while others start the rebuilding processes. If you love rock, metal, punk or whatever, you can do your bit to get things back to something like they were before. It might not feel like much, but believe us, even the simplest gestures make a difference. If everyone does something positive, that’s way better than a world of individuals thinking they don’t have the power to affect change. There is strength in numbers and if each person does something that will help out someone else, in the end we will all feel the benefit. In the immortal words of Jon Bon Jovi, keep the faith. Over to you…

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