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Useful resources for musicians during the coronavirus outbreak

By Louise Glen

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TRACS, an online resource that supports traditional musicians, has published a list of help for those who may find themselves out of work during the coronavirus outbreak.

From where to get financial help, to joining in with an online ceilidh the information sets out how to get through this difficult time.


Funding and financial help

Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund

This is a fund for those individual artists and freelancers who have lost income from their creative work and/or practice due to Covid-19. Musicians can seek between £500 and £2500 to help support your immediate needs. The overall budget for this fund is £2 million.

This fund is targeted to those who derive a significant proportion of their income from working in the not-for-profit sector in Scotland and have experienced a loss of earnings as a result of Covid-19.

Details can be found here.

Creative Scotland Open Fund

This fund is designed to support musicians to sustain practice in a changing world. Creative Scotland is inviting musicians to tell it what they want to do, and how it will help themselves and/or others in the months and years to come.

Funding for individuals:

Freelance and self-employed artists and creative practitioners in Scotland can apply for projects supporting the development of their practice. You may apply for funding to work with others if your practice is collaborative. You must have a UK bank account.

Funding for organisations:

This fund is for organisations and groups based in Scotland whose work or project involves the arts, screen and creative industries. All applicants must have a UK bank account.

Details can be found here.

Musicians’ Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund

The fund is open to any current Musicians Union member who:

  • Is currently paying the full MU membership subscription rate, or joint MU/NEU membership subscription rate (either in full or by Direct Debit)
  • Is a UK resident
  • Is suffering genuine hardship from loss of work due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • Has not already successfully received a payment from the MU Coronavirus Hardship Fund

Details can be found here.

PRS Emergency Relief Fund

This money is available to PRS members globally and will be offered in grants of up to £1000 each, depending on need. The PRS Emergency Relief Fund is open to those who:

  • have been a PRS writer member for at least two years
  • have earned at least £500 of PRS royalties within the last two years
  • are suffering genuine hardship from loss of work due to the Coronavirus pandemic

Details can be found here.

Help Musicians: Coronavirus Hardship Fund

A new offering specifically created to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians may currently be facing.

Eligible musicians are able to apply for a one-off payment of £500 through an online form.

Details can be found here.

Creative Scotland: Covid-19 funding and resource directory

An A-Z of funding and resources available to those in the creative community, who have been affected by coronavirus.

Details can be found here.


HMRC: Self-employment Income Support Scheme

You cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Details can be found here.

ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians)

Self-employed Musicians: Financial Guidance (Covid-19)

Detailed advice on what to do if you can’t work because you are sick or self isolating.

Information can be found here.


The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA): The Impact of Coronavirus on Scotland’s Music Industry

The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) is currently gathering information from as many music businesses and music practitioners working in Scotland as possible in relation to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Information can be found here.


Culture counts: Covid-19 (coronavirus) Impact Survey

This survey is for organisations and individuals in Scotland’s arts, screen, heritage and creative industries. Completing this survey will help Culture Counts to communicate the needs of the sector due to the impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), to decision-makers in government and in parliament. The survey will remain open until May.

Information can be found here.

Creative Ideas

ISM – private teachers: coronavirus (Covid-19) advice

The ISM have produced some guidance on online teaching. To avoid cancelling lessons, consider offering online teaching through the use of video calls on FaceTime or Skype for example.

Details can be found here.

Hands Up for Trad

A guide to hosting a live concert from your living room

Are you thinking of hosting a live concert from your living room? Check out this handy guide with some great ideas from Hands Up For Trad.


Why not create a video and join in with the COVID Ceilidh hashtag online? You can also watch all the other fantastic videos which have been uploaded with #COVIDCeilidh.

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