A study on British musicians carried out jointly by the Help Musicians association and the Musicians Union reveals a very sad observation. Of the 6,000 professionals identified, almost half earn less than 14,000 pounds sterling per year (approximately 16,300 euros) thanks to their art.
The survey reveals that many of them combine music practice with several other jobs, despite high levels of education and training. Nearly a quarter (23%) of musicians said they did not earn enough to support themselves or their family and for more than half (44%), the lack of sustainable income and Financial concerns linked in particular to the cost of equipment or transport constitute an obstacle to their career.
The lack of visibility for their development in the profession (36%), the fact of not knowing anyone in the industry (25%) as well as overwhelming working hours linked to their multiple activities (22%) were also mentioned as obstacles to their development. Among those surveyed, 17% reported persistent debt, a rate which reached 28% for black people and 30% for those suffering from mental disorders. Musicians who manage to make a living solely from music are no better off. With an annual salary of 30,000 pounds (around 35,000 euros), they are below the average British income which amounts to more than 33,000 pounds and 38,500 for qualified people.
Despite this bleak reality, British musicians are fighting. They show unfailing “perseverance” and “resilience,” “determined to continue producing the music we all know and love,” said Sarah Woods, executive director of Help Musicians.