Irish Music Industry Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund Launched

A new fund to support Irish music creators has been set up by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and First Music Contact (FMC), who will administer the fund.  

In addition to the financial contributions by IMRO and IRMA, Spotify is making a donation and is also matching donations made to the Irish Music Industry Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund via its Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief page, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total Spotify contribution of $10 million for the collective verified organizations worldwide.

Companies and individuals who are in a position to do so and who want to help sustain the music ecosystem will have an opportunity to make private donations to boost the fund.

The live music sector, from which many music creators make their living has paused globally. The livelihoods of music creators, many of whom are freelancers or small businesses themselves, are at significant risk during this crisis, as traditional revenue streams dry up.

The audio-visual sector is currently on hold and with many businesses now closed indefinitely, music creators will see a dramatic decrease in their royalty income in the weeks and months ahead. 

While the government has provided much needed assistance to businesses and some measures for freelancers, many music creators are experiencing great hardship right now. This crisis will have a detrimental impact on creators’ careers and incomes for many months to come, long after the current crisis has passed.

The fund has been created to assist Irish music creators who are currently experiencing the most financial need. It is open to songwriters, composers, performers, session musicians and arrangers who are currently trying to navigate through this challenging time. 

Successful applicants will receive a once-off emergency relief payment to the value of €750. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of music industry professionals from a wide spectrum of industry sectors and organisations.

Eleanor McEvoy, chair of IMRO, said: “Many talented and beloved members of the Irish creative community are struggling financially due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that this fund can help to ease some of their worries and fears. We are also appealing to anyone who is passionate about Irish music to donate to the fund to ensure we can help as many people as possible. It is essential that the Irish music industry survives this crisis, not just for the benefit of music creators, but for the benefit of our country. Music unites us and is fundamental to who we are. Losing it would be detrimental to our society and culture.”

Willie Kavanagh, Chairman of IRMA said: the Irish Recorded Music Association are pleased to be involved in funding this very worthwhile initiative, which is designed to reduce the financial suffering of music industry professionals, and bring relief to deserving musicians and creative songwriters, in this time of uncertainty.”

Angela Dorgan, chief executive of FMC, said: “We are delighted with the response of the music industry bodies to this fund to support artists who have lost livelihood opportunities as a result of the crisis. We could see from our surveys the amount of people affected immediately and although this fund won’t go anywhere near entirely bridging those gaps, we hope it will help sustain the most vulnerable in our sector during the crisis, the makers, the artists.” 

Tom Connaughton, UK and Ireland Managing Director of Spotify said: “Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spotify has engaged partners across the industry to discuss how we can support artists and the creative community who have been deeply impacted by the effects of the virus. Though streaming continues to play a key role in connecting creators with their fans, numerous other sources of revenue have been interrupted or stopped altogether by this crisis. That is why we’re supporting the Irish Music Industry Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund as part of our wider Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project, which recommends verified organizations that offer financial relief to those in the music community most in need around the world.” 

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