If your mental health suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, you might have more in common with some of your favorite musicians than you thought. A recent survey of 700 musicians by the UK-based nonprofit Help Musicians highlights the bleak reality for artists during the pandemic era. Eighty-seven percent of respondents reported a decline in mental health during the pandemic. An even higher percentage — 96 percent— reported that they were worried about finances, with 7 in 10 admitting feeling uncertain about their ability to cope financially. This can be attributed to financial instability as artists were forced to forgo touring and gigs with much uncertainty about the effect of the pandemic on their future careers.
James Ainscough, Chief Executive of Help Musicians, says:
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
While these numbers are certainly discouraging, some musicians have been adapting to pandemic life by learning a new skill while awaiting the return of concerts, festivals and touring. And some events, such as Burning Man, Lost Lands and EDC Las Vegas continue to remain hopeful for the 2021 festival season. Help Musicians provides resources for struggling artists, which can be found here.