The MU commissioned a poll following lockdown in mid-March of its members, with the aim of quantifying the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the industry in the UK. This returned that musicians have lost an estimated £13.9 million in earnings in the first few days due to cancellations. The results also suggest that nine in 10 of those working in the UK music industry have been affected, with job opportunities down by 69% on this time last year. The research indicates that musicians working in live performance report the highest amount of lost earnings, with teaching and orchestral work also affected due to social distancing and school closures.
The spring 2020 issue of The Musician is being dispatched in print format to members today. In this edition the contents include:
• Cover star singer-songwriter Eleanor VS
• Manchester-based string ensemble, the Levaré Quartet
• Rising Scottish jazz musician, Fergus McCreadie
• Focus on Glasgow venue, The Glad Café
• Advice on music industry acronyms
• Report from the MU’s fifth Orchestra Section Conference
• Spotlight on MCPS
• Opera North’s outreach and education work
• Maintaining your instrument with double bassist Mark Lewis
I drove into the MU office in Clapham Road this morning, but was only there for about an hour, as once I had collected a few items and checked for the latest post, I returned home at midday.
Gem O’Reilly of BBC London News visited MU HQ in the Oval this afternoon to film an interview with my London Regional colleague Natalie Witts about busking in Westminster and the Council’s proposals for licensing performers in the Borough. The resulting broadcast items can be found here: BBC YouTube / BBC News / BBC Facebook
I visited Olympia this afternoon to oversee the installation and set up of the MU stand at this year’s Music & Drama Education Expo. We have exhibited and held seminars at this event for several years, although on this occasion the MU Education Dept has opted to not act as official sponsors and elected to share our stand space with David Barnard’s Resonance initiative. My colleague Rose Delcour-Min will be in charge once the show is underway – it runs for the next two days – and together we spent a couple of hours putting everything in place. A swift of the show floor followed, during which we greeted many familiar faces from across the music education industry.
I was interviewed by BBR Radio Essex this morning to comment on the news that a significant new venue is being planned for the county. I highlighted how any new live music venue is a welcome addition to our cultural landscape and spoke about the importance of such ventures, not just for musicians but also for local employment opportunities.
I attended a drinks reception this evening hosted by David Warburton MP, in the Jubilee Room at the House of Commons, to mark Michael Dugher’s leaving his role at the CEO of UK Music. Michael has accepted the offer to become Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council and the UK Music team had invited those in the music industry with whom he had worked closely over the three years of his tenure. We wish him the very best of luck in his new role.
I caught a train from Bromley South to Canterbury East yesterday morning to visit Greg Fitzgerald’s rural retreat studio. Always a pleasure to work alongside Greg, who skilfully produced my Birdcage album in his Ealing-based studio several years ago. This time we set to work, for two days, on guitar parts and vocals for my ballad ‘Love on a summer’s day’ plus guitars and vocal for a new composition, ‘She reminds me of you.’ Between the sessions, I stayed overnight in the Premier Inn in Canterbury, plus enjoyed a drink at Cousins ‘pool table’ bar in the town.
Thanks once again to the marvellous Maggie Crowe, Julie and I had tickets last night – on my birthday – to the Brit Awards being held at the 02 Arena. We arrived at 5pm and made our way to the Continental Hotel, where the pre-Show dinner awaited.
Tony Agana, my former colleague in the early 1980s, who played as a striker for Welling Utd, Weymouth, Watford, Sheffield United, Leeds and Notts County, invited me to be his guest at the Bournemouth match at Bramall Lane this weekend. I travelled up by train from St Pancras on Saturday and checked-in at the Hampton by Hilton, West Bar Green, before arranging to meet Tony for a night out on the town.