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AIM launches million pound COVID-19 fund for those working behind the scenes in the music industry

By | Published on Tuesday 7 April 2020


The UK’s Association Of Independent Music yesterday launched a new fund to support contractors and freelancers in the independent music community who have lost their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s the latest relief fund set up to support those in the music world who have been negatively impacted by the measures introduced to restrict and delay the spread of COVID-19, which – of course – resulted in the shutdown of live music, recording studios, high street retail and other strands of the music industry.

However, whereas most of the funds established to date have focused on supporting artists and songwriters, AIM’s initiative will benefit those working behind the scenes. Tour crews, studio producers, mixing engineers, publicists, radio pluggers, graphic designers and stylists are among those who could benefit from the fund, AIM says.

It will be open to any contractors due to work with new and developing artists currently signed to AIM member labels who have lost committed income because of cancelled artist projects. The trade body and its members have already committed £500,000 to the initiative and the group is urgently inviting others in the music industry and beyond to help boost the fund to a million. The target is to distribute £1000 to 1000 workers within two months.

Alongside the launch of the fund, AIM revealed the results of a sector-wide survey that it instigated in partnership with the Creative Industries Federation. That poll showed that 96% of music businesses had lost some income as a result of COVID-19, with 40% having lost all their income. Despite this, 82% have not made any workers redundant which, AIM says, demonstrates a commitment within music businesses “to protecting workers and keeping up activity despite losses, with a view to the long-term, post-COVID-19”.

Launching the fund, AIM boss Paul Pacifico said: “We are hearing daily reports of creative and innovative ways that AIM members are working directly with their artists and teams to alleviate hardship through the crisis. Independent music businesses are holding on to their workers and trying wherever possible to keep their teams together in spite of the losses they are facing. They are helping artists financially where possible but also with practical measures and resources, and with emotional support in this difficult time of isolation”.

On the need for a fund focused on contractors and freelancers in the music community, Pacifico went on: “Despite government initiatives and the groundswell of support from the music industry, there are still many thousands of workers being left behind without the help that they need to get through this difficult time. Many of these people have suddenly found themselves with no source of income and with families to support, while government support measures for microbusinesses are hard to access for creative businesses and those for the self-employed are not expected to kick in before June”.

The trade group’s Chair – Ninja Tune MD Peter Quicke – added: “In this moment of global crisis, it is so important for AIM to enable our community in getting help to those in most critical need. Music has the power to help many of us to get through social isolation and other aspects of this crisis, and we must do our bit to support those people, particularly from behind the scenes, who help bring so much joy to so many, but who are at risk of being left behind in the current aid packages on offer”.

People and companies interested in supporting the fund should email

While many of the other COVID-19 relief funds – such as those run by the collecting societies and music charities like Help Musicians and MusiCares – are skewed towards artists and songwriters, Live Nation has also set up a scheme looking to support those working behind the scenes, albeit exclusively on the live side of the industry.