Coronavirus: help and support for independent creatives

The unprece­dent­ed effects of the Coro­n­avirus (COVID-19) out­break has deeply shak­en us at Fringe Fre­quen­cy. First­ly, we hope you and your loved ones are well. Our thoughts are with you – our sup­port­ers – and all the artists, cre­ators, venues, small enter­pris­es and freelancers.

This pan­dem­ic has slowed life to a crawl and crip­pled mil­lions of us. But we must con­tin­ue to look out for each oth­er, the way that our health care work­ers, car­ers, key work­ers, and entire com­mu­ni­ties have been doing these past months.

In this ongo­ing arti­cle, we’ve put togeth­er some gen­er­al advice and col­lect­ed use­ful links to sup­port cre­atives. If there are organ­i­sa­tions, funds or sup­port net­works you think we should include, please let us know via our social pages @fringefrequency.

We’ve also high­light­ed a few ways fans can sup­port the inde­pen­dent artists and enter­pris­es they love.

This year has been tougher than any of us could have imag­ined. But in the words of Del­roy Wil­son, “bet­ter must come”. Until that time, stay safe and keep sup­port­ing each other.


Money and finances

Mon­ey Sav­ing Expert: job secu­ri­ty is a major con­cern for many right now, espe­cial­ly those who are free­lance, self-employed or on tem­po­rary con­tracts. Mon­ey Sav­ing Expert is pro­vid­ing lots of use­ful advice on employ­ment and finances.

UK government’s busi­ness sup­port page: the UK gov­ern­ment is offer­ing some sup­port for busi­ness­es, includ­ing fur­lough schemes. How­ev­er, you must first check what schemes you may be eli­gi­ble for.

Arts Coun­cil Eng­land: England’s arts body has put togeth­er a £160 mil­lion emer­gency fund­ing to help organ­i­sa­tions and indi­vid­u­als dur­ing this crisis.

The Prince’s Trust: this organ­i­sa­tion helps young peo­ple aged 11–30 with voca­tion­al train­ing and jobs. It’s offer­ing sup­port for young peo­ple affect­ed by the Coronavirus.

Bar­bi­can Young Poets: for writ­ers, poets, artists and oth­er cre­atives, @BYPoets has been dili­gent­ly shar­ing many use­ful links to emer­gency arts funds and oppor­tu­ni­ties that you may ben­e­fit from.

The TV Mind­set: this organ­i­sa­tion offers sup­port for TV and film free­lancers, giv­ing them a space to share their con­cerns. It’s team has been host­ing well­ness webi­na­rs, dis­cussing men­tal health, finances, and oth­er issues.

Services and equipment

Apple extends free tri­al for Final Cut Pro and Log­ic Pro X: since March, Apple has been offer­ing a 90-day free tri­al for its video edit­ing app Final Cut Pro X and its audio edit­ing app Log­ic Pro X. Both of these apps offer a wide array of tools for cre­atives, and now is a good time to give them a try. You will require a com­pat­i­ble Mac and Apple ID in order to take advan­tage of this offer.

Iso­lat­ed Pro­duc­tions – a ser­vice help­ing musi­cians to con­nect: gui­tarist Joe Sin­gle­ton and friends have cre­at­ed this web­site, Iso­lat­ed Pro­duc­tions, to help musi­cians con­nect remote­ly and offer their ser­vices for record­ing sessions.

Connecting with the media

Get­ting press and media cov­er­age hasn’t got­ten any eas­i­er dur­ing the pan­dem­ic. But even if you have no PR team and no expe­ri­ence deal­ing with the press, you can still learn valu­able lessons and make pos­i­tive gains if you take the plunge now:

  • Know your audi­ence: jour­nal­ists, radio pre­sen­ters, blog­gers, and oth­er media peo­ple are inun­dat­ed with mes­sages every­day. And the big­ger they are, the hard­er it will be for your mes­sage to reach them. So, do your research and short list a hand­ful of spe­cial­ist pub­li­ca­tions, blogs and/or media folks who are cov­er­ing the art you make. Then you can pre­pare mes­sages for them know­ing you have a high­er chance of success.
  • Con­tact your poten­tials: when reach­ing out to the media for the first time, try to grab their atten­tion imme­di­ate­ly with some­thing inter­est­ing or strik­ing about your art or your­self. While some media peo­ple are cool being approached on social media, and even con­vers­ing in direct mes­sages (DMs), many pre­fer new con­tacts and their PR peo­ple to con­tact them via email or the con­tact forms on their web­sites. Once you have got an email address or been invit­ed to con­nect, make sure your press release is punchy, suc­cinct and con­tains the crit­i­cal infor­ma­tion you’re try­ing to com­mu­ni­cate. It is also wise to have pro­mo­tion­al pho­tos, cov­er art, audio, or oth­er mate­ri­als relat­ed to your project to hand.
  • Be polite and don’t give up: depend­ing on who you con­tact, you may get sev­er­al replies in less than a week, or you may get none at all. If you’re find­ing it hard to get replies, don’t take it per­son­al­ly. It may be that your mes­sages sim­ply haven’t been read or you may need to try approach­ing oth­er media folks. What you shouldn’t do is to start ran­dom­ly bom­bard­ing media folks with unso­licit­ed links to your work with no intro­duc­tion or greet­ing; this will not win you any favours. The impor­tant thing is to take things slow­ly and just be polite. Once you’ve found and con­nect­ed with one or two media folks/publications, you can look for­ward to more sup­port as you pro­mote your art.


The Coro­n­avirus out­break has forced the clo­sure of music, arts and enter­tain­ment venues across the UK, and around the world. Many musi­cians, small enter­pris­es and free­lancers make the major­i­ty of their liv­ing from live events.

As such, sup­port­ing the artists and cre­ators you love – espe­cial­ly those who are inde­pen­dent – is impor­tant if we wish to con­tin­ue enjoy­ing their work.

Here are a few ideas for how you can help sup­port your favourite creators.

Share, share, share, and share again!

If you’re read­ing this, we’re going to beat you’re the dis­cern­ing sort and you like your music. You are exact­ly who inde­pen­dent musi­cians, and oth­er cre­ative artists, need right now.

The only way many inde­pen­dent artists will be able to con­nect with new fans – and have their cre­ativ­i­ty sup­port­ed enough for it be sus­tain­able – will be if dis­cern­ing read­ers like you take the time to share their music, art, et al. If it tru­ly touch­es you, send it to your friends and fam­i­ly direct­ly, share it on your social feeds, and share it again when the mood takes you. Be both a fan and an ambassador.

This is some­thing we are striv­ing to do of more as a site, though our cur­rent team size has made it dif­fi­cult to shout about all the incred­i­ble artists we love, loud­ly and repeat­ed­ly. If you feel like you could help us out with this, and don’t mind vol­un­teer­ing some of your time, please do con­nect with us.

Live streams by artists and creators

Many musi­cians, artists and cre­ators have been live stream­ing via Insta­gram, YouTube and oth­er ser­vices dur­ing lock­down. Tun­ing in, and telling a few friends, is per­haps the eas­i­est way of show­ing them love at this time.

If you’re curi­ous about who else has been live stream­ing, have a look at the social media pages for your favourite artists. You can also web search a phrase such as “music live streams”, or try sign­ing up to select mail­ing lists, such as Song­kick, which has been curat­ing lists of live streams.

We will also be high­light­ing live streams by artists that you might have missed.

Bandcamp: supporting artists by waiving its revenue share on selected days

Many inde­pen­dent artists and record labels sell their music and mer­chan­dise through the dis­tri­b­u­tion out­let Band­camp. On the first Fri­day of each month, Band­camp is waiv­ing its rev­enue share for all sales through its web­site, from mid­night to mid­night PDT (08:00am BST). This means that when you pur­chase any music, dig­i­tal or phys­i­cal, or mer­chan­dise from an artist’s Band­camp page, that artist will receive a larg­er per­cent­age from your pur­chase. Read more on Bandcamp’s blog.

Pass on the positive efforts of the creative community

If you’ve read this far, we’re going to bet you’re already a cham­pi­on at this. You pass on pos­i­tive posts and requests for assis­tance from friends with­out miss­ing a beat.

So, keep doing what you’re doing and just keep your eyes peeled for things from the cre­ative com­mu­ni­ty that you can pass on. For instance, Geek Syn­di­cate put togeth­er a Covid-19 sup­port arti­cle for the com­ic, TV and film com­mu­ni­ty.

Relat­ed: tips to stay healthy and hap­py dur­ing the Coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic.

Image: Fringe Frequency