Coronavirus has impacted every industry, but especially those who rely on public appearances to make a living. In Philadelphia, many musicians and artists’ livelihoods have been impacted in big and small ways. Here are some easy ways to support your local artists amidst a global pandemic.
This one is pretty straightforward, but it’s never bad to get a reminder. You can best support local artists by directly donating to their band or act. Most will gladly accept help via Venmo or merchandise sales. If you can’t decide on just a few performers, there are also relief funds for musicians set up through the city. You can visit Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE). As of July 10th, over 1,020 grants have been made to individual artists, with an estimated total amount of $500,000.
A great way to support without providing monetary income is to watch livestreams, stream songs, and continue to spread their work. As most musicians will tell you, growth is everything. Though it’s not much, musicians make a small amount of money from streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Even tuning in to Instagram livestreams can boost morale and show your faves that you’re still listening and will be there when things turn around. Twitch even partnered with SoundCloud to pay artists who stream on the platform.
Who’s better for local artists than the local community? Lending support to record stores, venues, and live music bars can be a huge help. Everyone from Elton John to Martin Freeman has been encouraging people to shop as local as possible to keep not only musicians working but also the people who help musicians. When is a better time to grow that vinyl collection than now, when you have nothing else to do but listen to some tunes?
If you want some reward for donating, you should check out the artist’s e-commerce channels. This may be their Bandcamp page, their merchandise store, their record label, or even a side hustle like brew making or art. Purchasing directly can, not surprisingly, directly benefit the group. Not only that but now you have a fun new item to show that you are one of the biggest fans.
Spread the Word
If you’ve got a big platform online, spreading their music and spreading the word can be a great first step. If you run a social media page for your own small business, or just happen to have a lot of followers on your personal page, a small way to show support is asking your own fans to get involved. After all, a music community that works together, thrives together.
These are tough times for everyone, but those who can show their support absolutely should. Whether you can only donate a few bucks for a CD, or support behind the scene by posting songs and links to your IG story, there are no bad ways to help right now. Support your local artists as best you can!