16 Mar 2020

Seven ways to support local musicians during Covid-19

From RNZ Music, 2:00 pm on 16 March 2020

New Zealand composer, and Director of Member Services at APRA AMCOS, Victoria Kelly, has compiled some tips on how we can support our favourite local musicians during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Victoria Kelly

Victoria Kelly Photo: Amanda Ratcliffe

In hand with the measures we’re all taking to ensure the spread of Covid-19 is contained, come huge challenges and uncertainties for many self-employed musicians and performing arts organisations.

There’s already so much to think about, but please spare a thought for people now facing endless gig cancellations and job postponements.

Here’s seven ways you can help:

1. Consider forgoing a refund for cancelled shows

If it’s at all possible for you to wear the price of tickets for cancelled shows without asking for a refund, please let the price of your ticket be an act of kindness to local artists and arts organisations.

2. Pay to listen online

Become a conscious listener. If you love music, please don’t stream it for free. Subscribe - it’s not expensive - and give your favourite local artists some serious streaming attention. 

3. Share, share, share!

Share your favourite music with other people Share links. Spread the word. There are some mighty new albums currently being released by some amazing New Zealand artists!

4. Request Kiwi artists

If you’re at home in isolation, or we all go into lockdown, music is going to help us get through. Text your favourite radio stations and request local music. Spam their social media with requests. Create demand for the new work that local artists are releasing and cannot tour. The artists will earn royalties from commercial radio play and it will cost you nothing to support them in this way.

5. Buy merchandise

If you’ve ever yearned for a piece of merchandise or physical product from a local artist - and you can afford it - now is the time to buy it from them directly online. Your support will be incredibly valuable and heartening to those artists right now.

RNZ Afternoons' host Jesse Mulligan in his Beths t-shirt

RNZ Afternoons' host Jesse Mulligan in his Beths t-shirt Photo: RNZ

6. When it’s all over, fill your calendar with shows!

Make up for lost time when it’s safe again! When social distancing measures have worked to flatten the curve, mitigate the potential burden on our health system and protect our vulnerable population, that’s when you should celebrate by going out to see lots of live local music, and as a happy side-effect... help artists regenerate their careers.

7. Try virtual music lessons

If you or your kids have regular music lessons with an itinerant or independent music teacher, consider having them via Skype if you can't attend in person.

Your ongoing support could save people’s livelihoods. And our music creators will return your care ten-fold! They will keep creating, so that there is more music for you to love.

  • Covid-19: Cancelled, crowdless and closed
  • Redressing the balance so great voices can be heard
  • The Mixtape: Victoria Kelly