The coronavirus has not only taken a toll on public safety but on the global economy. Touring DJs, musicians, and artists are especially feeling the fallout since uniting people to dance and celebrate is our bread and butter.
We’ve scoured the internet to find some of the best financial resources that DJs can take advantage of during the coronavirus crisis. If you are experiencing financial troubles or want to best prepare for the months ahead, one of these amazing organizations might be able to offer assistance.
MusiCares is a non-profit organization created by the Recording Academy to support musicians in need with things like financial assistance, medical coverage, addiction recovery, and more. To be eligible for financial assistance, you must have at least five years of employment in the music industry, or at least six commercially-released recordings, or at least six commercially or promotionally-released music videos.
The American Federation of Musicians
The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) understands the financial impact the current crisis has on musicians and aims to help those in need find eligible unemployment benefits. AFM has called for expanded unemployment benefits and an immediate halt on evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs. If you’ve lost work due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for benefits.
The U.S. Department of Labor
During a global crisis like the one we are experiencing now, the Department of Labor in the U.S. may have extra benefits available to the musicians and other freelance artists. If you are unemployed due to COVID-19, an employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, or you are quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over, your state may be able to pay benefits.
PRS Foundation is the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development. Just launched, the organization’s Emergency Relief Fund will help songwriters and composers during the coronavirus pandemic. The new fund is open to all PRS members around the world who have been a member for at least two years and earned roughly $600 in the last two years. Grant applications will be available beginning March 26, 2020.
The Musicians Foundation has assisted thousands of musicians and their families in times of emergency, crisis, or transition. Grants typically range in amount from approximately $500-$3000, which could definitely come in handy during this time when gigs have stopped coming in. To be eligible, you must be able to prove that you have five or more years working in the U.S. as a professional musician.
Music Industry Therapists Collective
These therapy-minded individuals have also worked at record labels, recording studios, publishing houses, as bookers/promoters, tour managers, and as artists and producers. With experience in things like music business, finance, and career transitions, the Music Industry Therapists Collective is a great organization to get to know for financial advice, workshops, and more.
Freelance Financial Planning
A career as a DJ is very much like any freelance job. Essentially you’ve turned what you love into a career and work assignments as they come in. Freelance Financial Planning believes no one should have to sacrifice financial security to do what they love for a living. If you have questions about emergency funding, ways to cut spending, or saving strategies, this free 45-minute planning session could be the first step.
Student Loan Relief
Here is another source that may be helpful for DJs who have hefty student loan payments. If you’re curious about deferring payments, or if you’re looking to alter your repayment plan so your monthly payments are lower, this article offers some solid advice.
A good start to managing finances during a difficult time is to create a strict budget. While there are plenty of tools out there for budgeting, we’re going to show you two options that we really like. The first is a software called You Need A Budget. This tool is helpful because it can teach you how to manage your money in a realistic and sustainable way. There are also features like goal tracking and online support to help you along the way, as well as a free trial.
The second budget tool is called Mint. With both a website and mobile app, this handy tool puts all of your accounts (bank accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts) in one easy-to-view place. Create budgets, stay on top of upcoming payments, and view your credit score. It’s free to get started, and also be sure to check out their blog full of information and financial advice related to COVID-19.
Our last resource is Backline, an organization dedicated to the mental health and wellness of artists, managers, crew, promoters, agents, and even family members of those in the music industry. They provide a network of support groups and one-on-one sessions with case managers to help during difficult times. DJs may be able to find helpful health benefits through their many wellness programs. Remember, we’re all in this together and asking for help is not something to be ashamed of.
If you have advice for fellow DJs or an organization you think should be on this list, leave a comment below. We will continue to add to the list with your suggestions!