In response to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s comments this week, Salford musicians have had their say on what the future for musicians and artists will be.
Because of the dramatic effects of COVID 19 and the ensuing local lockdowns, the chance for musicians to work and earn a living has been hindered.
As pubs and venues across the country are being forced to close their doors in line with the current government legislation, musicians simply cannot perform in the way that they were able to prior to the pandemic with big local venues having to remain closed for long periods.
We spoke to Salford based musicians Barry Martin and Paul Shepherd and got their thoughts on what will be a trying period for people of their profession.
When asked how he thought this would affect himself and other musicians, Mr. Shepherd said: “I feel that this is a bit of a kickback but to be an artist you will have to be defiant.
“I think musicians are going to read these comments and if anything it will only spur them on to work even harder.”
The Lowry building will re-open for live performances on Friday 27 November. Here are some of the COVID-19 prevention measures we'll have in place. Stay tuned for more info about our galleries in the coming days/weeks. More info here: https://t.co/u76UbLR4zD pic.twitter.com/K2wB4MKLF4
— The Lowry (@The_Lowry) September 15, 2020
The question arose as to how they have been working during the coronavirus lockdown period. Mr. Shepherd added: “In April I released an EP digitally through Spotify as well as focusing on writing and recording.
“I am also hoping to release another EP later this year or early next year.”
Asked on what impact they thought this will have on the Salford and Manchester music scenes, Mr. Martin said: “The music scene as it was traditionally is non existent, something will have to take its place.”
Despite Mr. Martin’s concern for the future that local musicians and artists have, Mr. Shepherd remains optimistic: “On a grander scale I do think there’s been an outpour of respect for the arts. The amount of people that have came out and criticized his (Sunak) comments and said that we need to respect the arts has been quite inspiring.”
— Shirley Jones (@shirley27jones) October 12, 2020
Despite funding being provided to the arts sector, there is still the concern for musicians that their careers could be affected due to the current climate of coronavirus and the effects that this will have on their main form of income – gigging.