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  • Writer's pictureRhonan Colquhoun

Feature Writing Ass 3: Music & Covid-19

My third assessment for Feature Writing was to be aimed at a named magazine and should be a specialist feature article which included an interview. I decided for this article to go off piste and try my hand at something other than motorsport. So I decided to interview my friend who's a musician and see what the impact of Covid-19 has had on the Music Industry.

I passed this assessment and received great feedback from my lecturer.

Musicians concerns over Covid effect on music industry

The music industry might never get back to what it was before Covid-19, according to artists and musicians up and down the country as many voice concern over the significant damage the pandemic has caused.

Musicians, who have been hit hard by the pandemic, have been forced to cancel gigs and live performances, push back album and song releases and even some have chosen to give up on a career in the industry.

Blair McColm, 19, a musician from Dunoon, said: “If I am being totally honest, I don’t think we’ll see the music industry back to what it was before.”

General Manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), Robert Kilpatrick said that the “vital industry is on its knees” and it desperately needs Government support to survive.

Scottish singer Amy Macdonald has called on the Government to throw more support for the industry and even revealed that some of her band and crew “have started working in supermarkets” just to bring in basic income.

The Scottish Government set aside a £59m funding package to protect jobs in Culture, Arts and Heritage groups in late August. It also included a £5m package to address the immediate financial hardship faced by creative freelancers and £3m for youth arts, including a funding boost for the Youth Music Initiative that will provide work for musicians.

While more established artists are just about getting by, amateur artists or “newcomers” to the music scene, like Blair, haven’t been able to get the necessary support. It’s not just the musicians who have been forgotten about, it takes an army of people, ranging from sound and light engineers to roadies to security to make an event happen. Despite some government support, many people, including the people behind the scenes, have fallen through the gaps.

Blair had big plans and high hopes for his music this year. He said: “I had quite a lot planned. Obviously a lot of gigs, some in a few of the local pubs, possibilities of a few weddings and also I was planning on doing a lot of recording this year. I’m currently in the process of writing an album which is pretty much finished but I was supposed to be going up to Glasgow, getting it all recorded and hopefully was having a release date of late 2020, early 2021, but now that is in the bin. Well, the release date is anyway.”

In his element: Blair whilst recording his latest single

He also calculated that without the income of his DJing where he performs at parties and weddings at weekends as well as the loss of his live gigs, has lost out on about “two or three grands worth of revenue.”

Overcoming the challenges that Covid-19 has thrown at him, Blair has relied on social media to share his content and has seen what other artists have been doing. He said: “There’s been so many different things I’ve seen and it shows how talented people actually are by not only the way that they play but how they have got around the difficulties put in front of them.”

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