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Self-interest vs self-employment

The coronavirus doesn’t discriminate. It has cut a swathe through almost every country in the world, hitting rich and poor alike.

And it’s the same in business. The economic crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has hit companies at the very top of the FTSE 100 and small independent start-ups alike.

In the music business, the devastation of almost every sector has been tough to watch, harder to write about. But while the big companies may have the resources to cope, in the music industry there is an army of self-employed workers for whom several months without work could actually mean the end of their careers.

So while Live Nation’s stockmarket crash and the postponement of huge events, from Glastonbury Festival to our own Music Week Awards (now moving to a new date on September 21), have drawn the headlines, it’s important to remember the freelancers and SMEs without whom the industry would fail to function.

It’s been horrible to see social media posts from live businesses, small venues, independent PRs and the like talking about the overnight destruction of their business. Even worse to hear the off-the-record stories of companies – many big enough to take a short-term hit – immediately cancelling self-employed workers’ retainers and working agreements.

Everyone has a business to protect, and there are tough times ahead for almost everyone. But the reason the music business works is because it’s a delicate, complex ecosystem in which everyone, from the smallest self-starter to the largest multi-national corporation, plays an important part. When all this is over – and, one day, hopefully sooner rather than later, it will be – the demand for music will still be there, probably bigger than ever.

The government needs to do more, much more. But if the music business is to bounce back, the industry itself needs to make sure that as much of the system that helped deliver the pre-coronavirus boom remains intact. We should all remember that and support people and companies at every level of the business. That’s how we’ll beat this.

Mark Sutherland, Editor mark.sutherland@futurenet.com

MusicWeek 23.03.20

frontline 04 The Big Story We look at the impact of the coronavirus on the live sector, physical music retail and labels

: Gettynment

P H OTO

14 The Playlist 15 On The Radar Nashville hopeful Lennon Stella 16 Sync Story 18 Hotshots features

21 Recruitment An in-depth look at hiring in the biz regulars

26

Hitmakers D:Ream’s Things Can Only Get Better

29 Charts 46 The Aftershow The Cure’s Roger O’Donnell

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27.01.20 Music Week | 3

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