Musicians say touring was poorly paid and stressful. Can the chaos caused by the pandemic also be a moment of change?
As concert venues across the UK apply for emergency government aid, artists have been left to find creative ways to keep themselves afloat, turning to ticketed livestreams and supplementary jobs to fill the gap where gigs should be. But behind them all looms an ever-growing debate: what if the whole touring model was broken in the first place?
This month, New York musician Hannah Cohen said what many were secretly thinking. “I don’t miss touring,” she wrote on Twitter. “I am relieved. Touring with a band is a bottomless pit of expenses, emotionally & physically exhausting and I rarely break even … I will spend this break in touring slowly chipping away at my tour debt.” Other musicians chimed in on the thread, citing non-existent profits and gruelling schedules as a significant strain on their mental health.