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Music fans bought $7.3 million worth of music and merch on Friday


Music fans have put over $7.3 million (US$4.3 million) directly into artists' pockets around the world via online music platform Bandcamp's COVID-19 Artist Support Fundraiser.

For an entire day on March 20, Bandcamp waived their revenue share on any product sold, meaning that all profits went directly to artists.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had devostating effects on the music scene in internationally and in Australia. Locally, an estimated $300 million worth of income has been lost from the cancellation of 274,000 events, effecting almost 600,000 people.

"With such a major revenue stream drying up almost entirely, finding ways to continue supporting artists in the coming months is now an urgent priority for anyone who cares about music and the artists who create it," said Bandcamp co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamind. 

"For many artists, a single day of boosted sales can mean the difference between being able to pay rent or not."

The event was a massive success with Bandcamp recording 15 times more activity on the platform than a regular Friday.

Diamond reported that while a normal Friday would see on average 47,000 sales, the 20th saw over 800,000 sales - at the days' peak there were 11 sales per second.

"We don’t yet know the long-term impact of Covid-19, but we know that we all need music—to uplift and inspire us, to heal us, and to give us hope," Diamond said.

"We’ll continue working to make Bandcamp the best place for fans and artists to come together and sustain each other in the challenging times ahead."

Closer to home, many efforts are being made to support artists during this precarious time.

Artist and musician support service Support Act have launched their Sound Of Silence initive that includes a fundraiser that is aiming for $100 million to support musicians that have lost income and stability due to the crisis.

They have also issued several suggestions for how music fans can support musicians right now which includes;

- Keep streaming and buying Australian music and merchandise – directly from artist websites, through local record stores (online), Bandcamp, Patreon or via your favourite streaming services.

- If you have the means, hang onto your tickets for rescheduled dates. By keeping your ticket, you keep funds in the industry when it is most needed.

- Contact your preferred radio station and ask them to play your favourite Aussie artists or write a letter to your local MP.

- Message your favourite musician or venue and offer moral support. Or, ‘Pay It Forward’ and buy a gift voucher for your favourite artist at their favourite rehearsal, recording or production studio.

ILostMyGig Australia is also providing updates and tallies of the impact the crisis is having on the industry, while lobbbying government for more help and support during this time. They're created a running playlist of artists that have had their income impacted during the last month.

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