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‘I hope we all now realise how special live music is’: stars on pop’s future after coronavirus

Like many other aspects of life, the music industry has been changed, possibly permanently, by the coronavirus pandemic. There have been predictions of financial meltdown and of venue closures on a vast scale; suggestions that now is the moment for streaming services to change the way they pay musicians; even arguments that pop music in lockdown provides a model for how the music business should be: more creatively free, more resourceful, less reliant on touring.

We assembled a panel of musicians to discuss coronavirus and its effects: Sara Quin of the Canadian pop duo Tegan and Sara; pop singer-songwriter Ella Eyre; James McGovern of Dublin punk band the Murder Capital; Jeremy Pritchard, bassist of Manchester’s Everything Everything; and the singer-songwriter Jack Garratt.

Lockdown has underlined that most musicians make their living from playing live, not from recorded music. How has the closure of all live venues for the foreseeable future affected you?

Jack Garratt I’ve got an album coming out 12 June, so what do we do? It has inspired some really creative and interesting conversations but the fork in the road is a really big fork. Touring has completely dried up for the foreseeable future. Everything’s getting pushed until 2021, and even that’s a maybe. So not only is that promotion that I can’t do any more – the thing that I love doing – any revenue that I was going to make from shows, that’s just gone.

Ella Eyre I’ve always fought to have different avenues of income: publishing, writing for other people, brand deals. So even though my tour has been pushed back, it won’t heavily

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