Banding together in support of the music industry and fans, the Unison Benevolent Fund and the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief Project are looking for fans, musicians and anyone who is missing live music to share their stories and open their wallets.
Through a new initiative, #WithoutMusic, the Unison Benevolent Fund wants to collect “the positive and lasting impact of music on both their own lives and the world,” through stories told on social media using that hashtag. People are asked to share stories, photos, videos and memories, using #WithoutMusic and tagging @UnisonFund.
The Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief Project is pledging to match donations made to Unison, up to a collective total of $10 million USD.
“As venues, tours and festivals have shut down in response to public health measures to flatten the curve and limit the spread of COVID-19, those in the music industry who rely on the live business for revenue have been severely impacted, leaving numerous entertainment professionals out of work and requiring the emergency relief assistance that Unison provides,” the group says. “Since the beginning of the outbreak, Unison has received an overwhelming number of requests for assistance from the music community, seeking an increase of 3500% per week.”
And as we all know by now, there’s no immediate timeline or reason to believe we’ll be seeing live music together, in venues other than drive-ins, in the near future.
This announcement comes amidst an effort to #SupportCanadianVenues, spearheaded by the Canadian Independent Venue Coalition to try and make sure there are places for musicians to play and fans to gather once it’s safe to do so once again. That effort is also trying to secure funding from the Canadian government to help provide assistance to independent venues.
“I know my own story would be completely rewritten #WithouMusic, and I’m sure many feel the same,” says Amanda Power, Unison’s executive director. “It is times like these where we need to come together to support those who are struggling and we are proud to launch the #WithoutMusic campaign to raise awareness of Unison’s mission in the Canadian music industry, so that we can continue to provide critical assistance for as many people as possible during this difficult time.”
More information on the initiative, and how to donate, can be found here.