Almost half of working musicians in the UK earn less than £14,000, new study finds
The study also found that forty-five per-cent of musicians said that financial barriers were holding them back in their career, including the cost of equipment, and transport to and from rehearsals and gigs.
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A new census of almost 6,000 working musicians in the United Kingdom has found that nearly half earn less than £14,000 ($17,500) a year.
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These statistics come from the first Musicians’ Census, a project that was created by the Musicians’ Union and charity Help Musicians. This census is hoped to be repeated every three to five years to reflect the changes in the music industry.
The rather bleak findings show that many of those working in the music industry struggle to make ends meet. However what these statistics do present, is that there is more support needed for musicians working in the industry.
Considering that the minimum wage in the UK equates to an average of £19,000 annual salary, and more in London, this means that around half of working musicians in the UK are earning far below what should be the minimum.
As stated in The Guardian, an anonymised respondent complained of “a real glass ceiling in terms of performance pay with fees for most performance opportunities the same as they were 20 years ago. The hours are unsociable, rehearsals are often unpaid and there is much unpaid waiting around. Being a full-time musician and trying to be present as a parent is effectively impossible.”
In addition to this the study found that forty-five per-cent of musicians said that financial barriers were holding them back in their career, including the cost of equipment, and transport to and from rehearsals and gigs.
Sarah Woods, chief executive of Help Musicians stated that this study “highlights how committed musicians are in continuing to produce the music we all know and love; demonstrating how resilient our population of musicians truly is.” She also mentions how this data would be used to inform new kinds of support that will be available to musicians.