A third of professional musicians were still earning nothing from music after the pandemic, according to a charity study.
The music industry was proving to be one of the last sectors to recover from the pandemic, with 83% of professional of musicians unable to return to regular work.
Research conducted by the independent charity Help Musicians on nearly 1,000 professional musicians found the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were continuing to have a catastrophic impact.
Nine in 10 musicians were earning less than £1,000 per month and just 1% were earning over £2,500, the study found.
James Ainscough, chief executive of Help Musicians, said: “Whilst much of the economy is gradually getting back to normal, it will be a long time before musicians expect to return to their pre-pandemic income levels, as we predicted from the start of the pandemic.
“For the past 18 months, we have been supporting nearly 20,000 musicians with direct financial aid to help them pay their bills and stay afloat.”
The impact of the pandemic on musicians has not only been financial, as just under a third of musicians cited a lack of confidence as stopping them from returning to perform in live audiences.
Help Musicians has seen a 60% increase in musicians getting in contact for mental health support, as one in eight musicians said they were currently experiencing a a mental health problem that was preventing them from returning to work, the research found.
Mr Ainscough said: “As the industry starts to recover we are shifting our emphasis towards helping musicians rebuild with a wide package of support from advice on diversifying income streams, mentoring to rebuild connections, mental health support and much more.
“We recognise that for some musicians, it will take a long time to rebuild and the team at Help Musicians will continue to be available to those musicians who find themselves in real crisis over the months ahead, ensuring we are alongside musicians every step of the way.”
The research found that less than a quarter were confident they would be able to continue a career in music while 22% were actively considering leaving the industry.
During the pandemic, the charity donated £18 million into the bank accounts of 19,000 struggling musicians to help them survive the financial hardship.