Guest Blog by Graham Steel

Live Music during Lockdown

As someone who runs their own Live Music Company this Summer has been completely different to the one we had planned, instead of organising bands, liaising with technicians and checking the weather forecast on a daily basis to see what surprises the British climate has to offer, we have instead been dormant like a lot of companies due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.

For Live Music venues this has potentially catastrophic implications especially for those at a Grassroots level who generally struggle to keep going in normal circumstances as well as for the musicians many of whom are self employed and the technical and venue staff. In my experience no one who works in the Arts does so for the money, but it is a testing time for all.

At GSMC we have tried to keep Live Music going during Lockdown by setting up our Online Music Club the purpose of which, is to stream performances live on social media, we have been doing this every evening since the 20th March and have had a variety of genres of music and featured artists from across the UK as well as around the World including South Africa, Greece and USA.

Now that Lockdown for many begins to ease for the time being the task at hand is to see how we can start live performances again in a safe and comfortable environment. This is easier said and done especially for small venues as with social distancing regulations in place it means that a venue of say 200 people will now have a capacity of 20-30, which in many cases doesn’t make it worthwhile opening. The recent Government announcement of funding to the Arts will hopefully make a difference and allow more venues to open, but the full details have yet to be announced as I write this it is yet to known if these funds will go to those that need it.

For many years now in times of need it is musicians that have been one of the first to stand up to the plate and offer to perform for free to help good causes from Worldwide events such as live Aid to local Charity events at Fetes etc, hopefully now is the time to get behind all those that have suffered financially over the past few months and show them how much they are appreciated and supported.

Graham Steel

Graham Steel Music Company