Corona advice for musicians

This page has been created to be a central source of support and advice for all musicians during the coronavirus period. We will update regularly as the situation develops.

Government advice

stay at home

The UK Government has introduced measures requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.

self isolation

Please follow the government’s advice for reporting illness, recent travel and self-isolation as appropriate.

If you are feeling unwell

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

mental health and wellbeing

Public Health England guidance on looking after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak

support for businesses

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary measures to support businesses across the UK through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19, including SMEs.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Employees or PAYE zero hour contract workers could be entitled to the Job Retention Scheme. Employees placed on temporary leave known as furlough could receive 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month.

HMRC Tax Helpline

HMRC’s tax helpline offers advice for businesses and self employed people concerned about their tax payments due to coronavirus. If you’re unable to pay, HMRC can discuss payment plans, suspending debt collection and cancelling penalties and interest when administrative issues arise.

8.00 to 20.00 Mon – Fri, 8.00 to 16.00 Sat, closed Bank Holidays

Wales

A £100m fund with loans from £5,000 to £250,000 for Welsh businesses experiencing cashflow difficulties due to the outbreak.

scotland

8.30 to 17.30 Mon – Fri

northern ireland

NI Executive offer one-off grants of £10,000 to businesses currently in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief

Advice is also available from:

Money worries

Financial
hardship

The UK Government has announced an income support scheme for self employed and freelance workers. From June, if you’re self employed you may be eligible for a taxable grant of up to £2,500 a month.

We strongly recommend that you follow current government advice and apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance.

Help musicians

Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund

Help Musicians is pausing applications to the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund for three days from 10pm Friday 3 April. During that time the charity will process the significant number of outstanding applications and re-evaluate the size of the fund. Help Musicians hopes to be able to accept new applications again on Tuesday 7 April. In the meantime, please keep in touch with Help Musicians social channels to receive further updates.

Help Musicians has opened a short survey (closes midnight Monday 6 April) to gather musicians’ experiences of applying for and receiving Universal Credit.

Please take the survey to help the charity offer the best response to musicians’ financial needs during the outbreak.

The Health and Welfare team offers structured support to professional musicians in times of personal crisis. Our approach is person-centred; building tailored support around an individual’s specific needs. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, Help Musicians is unable to replace lost earnings. But we are able to provide financial support in cases of significant financial hardship as well as signposting for debt or welfare related issues.

Musicians’ Union

PRS For Music, PRS Members’ Fund and PRS Foundation

ISM

Various membership organisations operate their own benevolent funds:

Other sources of useful
financial assistance & advice

Debt
advice

Debt advice and support

Advice about business related debts

Contractual Issues and Income Loss

Working in theatre

Advice in Response to Closure of West End and Regional Theatres

Teaching during the coronavirus outbreak

music education resources

UK Music has created a list of music education resources for home schooling, class teaching and more. From early years teaching to higher education.

Insurance

ISM legal support

If you are an ISM member, you can contact the in-house legal team via legal@ism.org. Please include your membership number and supporting documents (contracts, correspondence etc) for review.

ISM offer specific legal advice for members working in the following areas

Eligibility for the self employment income support scheme

Check whether you’re entitled to receive the taxable grant as a self employed musician

UK Music advice to businesses on coronavirus

UK Music has collated advice for music businesses affected by the impact of coronavirus 

Health issues

Help Musicians

The Health and Welfare team offers structured support to professional musicians in times of personal crisis. Our approach is person-centred; building tailored support around an individual’s specific needs. We provide financial assistance for health interventions and access to music specialist health assessments for performance related health issues.

BAPAM

BAPAM is a specialist healthcare charity giving medical advice to performing arts professionals and students. Their expert clinicians understand the demands of a performing arts career and can help with problems including work-related injuries and pain, tension, voice problems, hypermobility, performance or career-related anxiety and other psychological issues. BAPAM clinicians are from a range of backgrounds including general practice, physiotherapy, psychology, osteopathy, rheumatology, and orthopaedics.

BAPAM is offering a series of free online training sessions for musicians covering a range of performance health issues.
Click here for details

Mental health

music minds matter

A free, confidential, around the clock helpline run by Help Musicians for the entire music industry. Whatever you do in music, whatever you’re going through right now, contact Music Minds Matter for a listening ear.

music support

A helpline for anyone in the music industry suffering from alcoholism, addiction, emotional or mental health issues.

ISM

A 24 hour helpline for ISM members. Counselling (telephone and face to face) can also be arranged through the support line.

Mind

For urgent help and support. Plus advice on how to support others. 

Music Industry Therapists & Coaches

Available as a free download from the MITC website.

Other emergency numbers

Creative development

Help Musicians

Every year, Help Musicians give grants, provide opportunities and offer advice to talented musicians.

Help Musicians’ Funding Wizard – a quick way to find opportunities relevant to you.

Do It Differently Covid-19 Round

Adapted round of Help Musicians’ Do It Differently fund, which recognises innovation, creativity and  new ways of working during self-isolation.

Arts Council England

Creative Scotland

Three new funding programmes launched to further support Scotland’s creative community during the outbreak

Arts Council of Wales

PRS Foundation

Sustaining Creativity Fund

A new fund from PRS Foundation designed to respond to the changing needs of music creators, helping artists and music writers create and develop when they need it most. Opens Monday 6 April

culture in quarantine fund

BBC Arts with Arts Council England is launching this joint fund for around 25 artists to create new works in creative media.

Free tools and resources for musicians

Working online

How to work remotely as a musician

Advice blog from Audrey Riley, cellist, composer and ICMP music tutor on how to adapt your practice as a musician for remote working during the lockdown period.

Digital Culture Network

Arts Council England’s Digital Culture Network helps artists and organisations develop digital skills and find new ways to reach and engage audiences. 
Read about the resources, events and support available here

teaching music online

livestreaming

Other helpful information

UK Music

Creative Industries Federation (daily updates)

ISM (Daily Updates)

ivors academy

Musicians’ Union Covid Impact Poll

MU call on government to protect all self employed musicians

Guidance for musicians on housing

advice for parents on working from home

AMA Free webinars for creatives