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87% of musicians say their mental health impaired during Covid-19 lockdowns, study finds

According to a new survey conducted by an independent charity, Help Musicians, 87% of surveyed artists and musicians have said that their mental health deteriorated due to COVID-19-related lockdowns.

They interviewed about 700 musicians in the beginning of this year to find out how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them. The survey stated that there was a 65% increase in requests for mental health support in the last three months. Help Musicians also found that 96% of musicians were worried about their finances while 7 out of 10 said they fear that they wouldn’t be able to make ends meet in the next 6 months. 91% underlined a lack of certainty about what the future holds. The two main factors contributing to mental health issues are loss of income and inability to perform live. Over half of the musicians surveyed are no longer making money from music, having 56% relying on Universal Credit, while 25% said they conside leaving the music business for good.

Help Musicians Chief Executive James Ainscough stated:

“We can’t sugar coat these findings – we are facing a mental health crisis amongst musicians on an unprecedented scale. Whilst there may be light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap out of lockdown revealed, there is still substantial uncertainty around how quickly the music industry can recover, plus the catastrophic impact of the Brexit deal on musicians’ ability to tour. After a year of hardship, the ongoing uncertainty for musicians is taking a huge toll on mental health.”

Recently, the biggest trend among DJs around the world is selling NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to their fans, which are unique digital assets, sort of like a limited edition merchandise or piece of art. Although NFTs caused much controversy and debate in the dance music realm, it has recently become a highly lucrative way to generate income among producers, with artists like Steve Aoki, 3LAU, Madeon or deadmau5 jumping on the bandwagon.

If anyone working in the UK music industry find themselves in need of support with their mental health, especially now due to the COVID-19 restrictions, they can seek advice here, call the Music Minds Matter support line or visit musicmindsmatter.org.uk.

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