On 6 October the Musicians’ Union organised a 400-strong protest in Parliament Square about musicians’ jobs.
The union is calling for the government to expand the self-employed “furlough” scheme so that more musicians can qualify. At present 38% of musicians are ineligible.
It wants the Arts Council to be able to distribute money to help individual musicians in England, as is being done in Wales and Scotland.
And it wants the government to fund local government to make municipal venues available for live performances with suitable covid-distancing.
Another measure that could make a difference would be to re-expand music teaching in schools, cut in recent years.
As it stands, musicians, and related trades like sound engineers, are among the groups hardest-bit by the pandemic and lockdowns.
70% of musicians have less than 25% of their usual work, and 36% have none at all.
On a recent estimate, 50% of live music employees (about 26,000) are likely to lose their jobs by the end of 2020. And more than 140,000 full-time equivalent jobs for freelancers, crew, and other support staff have ceased to exist since March.