On the heels of a letter from the Recording Academy appealing to Congress for financial assistance for the music community, the Music Artists Coalition sent a similar letter to Congress signed by dozens of artists and executives, including Don Henley, Lizzo, Maren Morris, John Mayer, Stevie Nicks, Gwen Stefani, Def Leppard and many others. Where the Recording Academy letter focused on freelancers and people involved in the “gig economy,” this one emphasizes workers in the live-entertainment side of the business.
A rep for the organization noted that the relief package signed by President Trump Wednesday is a first step that will provide some relief to the music community, but that more targeted aid is needed.
“The cancellation of concerts, festivals, and tours has brought an abrupt end to income for hundreds of thousands of people,” the letter reads in part. “The music industry is facing an existential threat that is unprecedented – the touring business as we know it has disappeared without warning and without a safety net for hundreds of thousands of people. MAC believes the impacted people in the music industry are one of the groups most in need of government assistance.”
The letter follows below in full.
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and Leader Schumer:
The Music Artists Coalition (MAC) appreciates the bipartisan efforts underway to address the severe economic impact on millions of Americans because of COVID-19. As economic relief efforts are finalized, MAC believes it is essential that support is reserved for the hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on the live music business.
In compliance with CDC guidelines, all concerts and events have been cancelled indefinitely. As a result, the concert business is as drastically and negatively impacted as the airlines and the hospitality industries, despite a lack of media attention. The men and women who work tirelessly to bring live music to fans are unable to work from home and have no alternative means of supporting themselves and their families.
The cancellation of concerts, tours, and festivals means that the musicians and crews who make every concert a special experience for music fans are now out of a job and have no other way to pay rent or put food on the table. Concerts are not just about the headliner: the foundation of live music are the touring musicians, truck and bus drivers, stagehands, production teams, crews who handle lighting, sound, equipment, security, and so many others do not have any option for work as there are no live events for the foreseeable future.
The cancellation of concerts, festivals, and tours has brought an abrupt end to income for hundreds of thousands of people. For these dedicated individuals, it is not an unwillingness, but an inability, to work, when all concerts, tours, and recording sessions are cancelled or indefinitely postponed. While some concerts will be rescheduled, it is inevitable that many will be cancelled and unable to find a venue in which to perform when this crisis has passed.
The music industry is facing an existential threat that is unprecedented – the touring business as we know it has disappeared without warning and without a safety net for hundreds of thousands of people. MAC believes the impacted people in the music industry are one of the groups most in need of government assistance.
Thank you for leading the fight to ensure Americans are able to pay their bills and survive these trying times.
Amy Lee (Evanescence)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Brandon Robert Young
Cold War Kids
J Ross Parrelli
Jerrod Bettis (p/k/a “Skins”)
Jonny Pierce (p/k/a “The Drums”)
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds
Leslie Odom Jr
Little Big Town
Morgan Kibby/White Sea
Rory Andrew (p/k/a “Wynne”)
Stone Temple Pilots
The Doobie Brothers
The White Buffalo
Walk Off The Earth