In The Wake Of Coronavirus, It’s Time To Step Up And Support Our Favorite Bands
It’s been a generally accepted rule for some time now that any musician who isn’t a huge pop star makes their money by touring the world. Though not everyone agrees with this idea, plenty of active artists will be the first to tell you that without the revenue earned by shows and the merch sold at them, they wouldn’t be able to eat. But now, as the coronavirus outbreak forces the postponement and cancellation of tours and festivals across the globe, it’s being predicted that the live music industry will lose millions; and even without the financial burden, one can imagine that most of your favorite bands aren’t feeling too happy about having their livelihood – and their way of directly communicating with their fans – cut off at the knees.
So, it’s time to do our part. As music fans, we need to step up and help support those musicians whose careers we don’t want to see damaged by this global pandemic. Simply put, it’s time to vote with our dollar, and buy some merch.
It’s not as though the music industry is alone in having its world thrown for a loop by the coronavirus. The NBA have suspended their entire season this year after a player on the Utah Jazz was diagnosed with COVID-19. The film industry is also suffering, with movies like A Quiet Place II, Falcon And The Winter Soldier, and Disney’s live-action Mulan all being rescheduled or postponed without any word of when they’ll be released. Overall, the entertainment industry is going to feel this one for a long time.
But for rock bands, the effects of this development are infinitely more tangible. Bands, especially actively touring ones, live by the minute; a change in schedule or mindset can affect their everyday lives. How well that band eats, or whether or not the members will have to work day jobs to support their passions, can depend on something a simple as merch designs or the local weather. There is rarely a guarantee that their bread and butter will be waiting for them next year, and so when the rug is pulled out from under them due to, say, the outbreak of a dangerous disease, it hurts them in real time.
This is especially true for young and underground bands, the fabled next generation of rock and metal stars that we’re always looking for. No question, it absolutely sucks for Marilyn Manson and Pearl Jam that they’ve had to postpone tours due to coronavirus, but they’re established bands who people will always appreciate. But for acts like Enterprise Earth, Full Of Hell, and Poppy, all of whom are only now building their houses around them, these travel bans and cancellations are especially detrimental. These artists are relying on momentum among other things, and having their live experience curtailed can destroy that.
At the end of the day, though, whether your favorite band is playing tiny clubs or massive arenas, the coronavirus affects their lives. Not only that, but whether through Bandcamp or a big memorabilia company, these acts have ways of supporting them available at the drop of a hat. Sure, sometimes those extras — the rare vinyl, the signed poster, the special baseball jersey — can seem like far-off, maybe-one-day trophies. Right now, though, not only are they at your fingertips, but buying them is also a huge boon to the artists making them. It’s easier than ever to put your money where your mouth is and help your favorite bands when they need it. And right now, they definitely need it.
The effects the coronavirus is having on the world of music have ballooned this week, but the true strength of music – especially in the cases of rock, punk, and metal – has always been in the hands of the fans. For years, our favorite artists have worked their asses off to entertain and inspire us with their music and shows. Now, we have a chance to give back. These people make our lives bearable – the least we can do is splurge on a hoodie.
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