Kiwi musicians keep music alive as industry faces collapse amid coronavirus pandemic

The curtains have abruptly come down on many Kiwi musicians, who have been forced to cancel tours and scramble home amid the nationwide lockdown.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Many of our musicians have had to cancel tours and scramble home from the other side of the world, but our Kiwi talent have found other ways to keep the music alive. Source: 1 NEWS

While the entire industry now faces losing millions of dollars in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, musicians are turning to other ways to keep the music alive.

Fat Freddy’s Drop saxophonist Scott Towers has treated the neighbourhood to an impromptu concert after their planned gig in Portugal was cancelled over Covid-19.

“I’ve been finding it hard getting by with no music in the world, so I’ve been getting my speakers out of the shed,” Mr Towers said.

“Plugging them into my stereo, my turntables, and blasting some music down to the street corner.”

The band’s 14-day isolation period ended last night following a mad dash home from Germany. Their instruments were stuck in London, however.

“They cancelled the show in Copenhagen and then we thought we’d do a show end of the week in Berlin, then we had to pull the pin as it seemed like a really good idea to get home as fast as possible,” he said.

Eleven Kiwi artists were set to perform at South by Southwest, in Texas, when it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Music festival Coachella was also forced to shut its doors, while other festivals were left up in the air as the respiratory illness continued to spread across the globe.

Singer Theia is currently in isolation after racing home from Los Angeles.

“Yeah, totally crushed. It was kind of upsetting because I was going to be working with people I’d always wanted to work with.”

In 2018, the music industry contributed more than $700 million to the GDP.

“Business as an industry has stopped - there is no business,” New Zealand Promoters Association head Brent Eccles said.

“Bands that are just living off on bare minimum amount of money per week is gone."

The collapse of the industry has also affected its support crew, including security, production and promoters.

It’s hoped fundraiser Music Helps Live, launching tomorrow, will help raise $2 million for the struggling industry.

Music Helps deputy chair Anthony Healey is calling for Kiwis to band together and help musicians in need of support.

“It’s musicians, often in times of crisis, that join together to put on benefits for others,” Mr Healey said.

“Right now, we’re looking to find a way to help those musicians themselves. We want to keep that music playing.”

Artists have since turned to connecting with fans through social media, such as Instagram Live.

“We're actually making more of an effort to connect with each other, so weirdly being pushed inside has actually made us al bond a lot more," Theia said.

Theia, who is unable to shoot her music video following her return to New Zealand, is now asking her fans to film it for her.