When venues eventually re-open and live music once again takes its rightful place on stage, the music industry in the UK is lining up for a rude awakening.
It’s been a trying time for the music industry. But whilst many bands and musicians have been able to sustain themselves through live-stream concerts and merchandise, not everyone in the industry has been able to keep themselves afloat until the re-launch of live music in the UK. And this threatens to render live music mute.
Whilst many businesses, industries and professionals in the UK received some gov-backed financial support in the last year to help get through the devastating lockdown and tightened restrictions across society, some, unfortunately, fell through the cracks and received nothing – zilch, nada. Without any support to sustain themselves through this crazy period, many of these individuals – sound engineers, light technicians, stage builders, FOH engineers, roadies, promoters, managers, security staff, etc – have had to move on to other jobs. And so when live music opens up again, there will simply be no around with the requisite skills and knowledge to make live music as amazing as it was pre-pandemic.
This talent drain represents one of the biggest tragedies to the live music scene in the UK in decades, as a shortage of talented and experienced labour, coupled with supply chain issues, threatens to set the music industry back decades, literally. It takes years to amass the kind of expertise and know-how needed to put on a rockin’ metal show, and without these guys around, it will take years before live music is what it used to be.
We recently spoke with Mark Mynett (music producer, sound engineer, university lecturer and guitarist of Kill II This) and Jeff Singer (drummer of Kill II This / My Dying Bride) to talk about their new initiative, UK-Metal-Merger Stagehand Crew Relief Fund, to raise public awareness of an incoming crisis and shine the light on the “unsung heroes” of the UK live metal music scene affected by the Covid 19 pandemic.
The fundraising drive is organised by the PSA Welfare & Benevolent Fund which aims to help live production crew to survive in times of hardship, such as the last year. To draw people to the cause, the fund recruited 18 metal musicians from across the UK on a remote writing/performance collaboration which resulted in an epic 12’37” musical journey titled ‘In Solitude’ – you can listen to the full song (radio edit) here!
Participants of the 18-strong project included members of Cradle Of Filth, My Dying Bride, Winterfylleth, Kill II This, Xentrix, Divine Chaos, Absolva, Blaze Bailey, Krysthla, and Pythia.
Check out the interview below where we talk about what we can do to support those that have supported us in venues across the UK, as well as the future plans for possible international collaboration with other affected industries around the world.
To send a little love to the hard-working talent that props up the music you love, make a donation to UK Metal Merger here.
You can also attend a FREE special industry panel meeting to raise public awareness of the urgent crisis facing the UK music industry this Friday. Register here.