We are David Cohen, (concert cellist and Professor) and Thibault Blanchard-Dubois (cellist and audio/video engineer), London-based musicians who have created this fund to support self-employed musicians across Europe who have been severely financially impacted due to the mass cancellation of concerts, music festivals, concert series and performance events during the current Corona Virus outbreak. Our websites are at the bottom of this page for your reference and to know we are legit. Please read on.
We would like to start by expressing how heartbroken we are for the so many lives already lost and the pain of their families in this time of loss and uncertainty. Our thoughts are with the families who have lived through loss as well as people around the globe battling for their lives.
We would like to bring to light the plight of our fellow musicians, who will not be helped by government funding and have no salaried positions to fall back on, many of whom with families of their own to support- many, who will claim bankruptcy this year due to the emergency cancellations of their only source of income, worldwide.
This situation is having a devastating effect on freelance musicians. We have had testimony from colleagues and friends that engagements for the next months have been cancelled due to the government restrictions as a result of Coronavirus. Most of these engagements have been completely cancelled- not postponed, and without the security of a salaried job such as teaching in a reputable Institution, or the safety of a government funded Orchestra, thousands will be very badly affected by this awful situation as this falls under Force Majeure in contracts, meaning no safety net at all for the many impacted freelance musicians. This means the musicians receive zero, even as the public is being encouraged not to ask for refunds on tickets of cancelled performances to support their concert venues and series, this is not necessarily always being payed forward to the musicians themselves. Rather, the money may stay with the large administration concert halls and organisations. Whilst we do hope and consider that some concert houses will try to help their own freelance musicians, we have yet to hear from our colleagues as to any funds from cancelled concerts reaching them.
As a result, many of our colleagues who are strictly freelance musicians relying only on concert performances for their livelihood have seen their incoming funds vanish overnight. They are also without any prospective help from the government until the requirement for social distancing and/or lockdowns have been lifted. It is estimated many will claim bankruptcy this year as a result of Corona Virus. This means thousands of families, many with young children, suddenly unable to pay for food, bills, rent, mortgages being left without any safety net.
Whilst it is clear to us that governments will be considering helping small businesses, it is highly unlikely that self-employed musicians will be receiving the same kind of much needed help, which they deserve as essential members of our society. Thus, the reason we feel compelled to take action.
Music, as well as all the Arts help make life worth living, and help us lead more thoughtful, compassionate, enjoyable lives. In these terribly uncertain times for us all, our artists need to be supported and not forgotten, so that they will be ready to once again share their art form with us when we, together, come to the other side of this uncertain time for us all- and we will!
When Churchill was asked to cut the arts funding of the war efforts, he simply replied, “Then what are we fighting for?”
To collect as many donations as possible from those of us with the means to help as possible. Any small help can make a difference.
This money will be used to support freelance musicians whose income relies entirely on freelance work.
First come first served basis on the following :
5.000£ collected = 25 first applications receive 200£
10.000£ collected = 50 first applications receive 200£
15.000 collected =75 first applications receive 200£
How can you help?
DONATING: No amount is too small, Every little helps.
SHARING/POSTING: the link of this fundraiser with a short testimony post.
How do I request funding?
Anyone who is a freelance musician can request funds. We plan to fulfil every request with a £200 offering on a first-come-first-serve basis. We decided early on that we could not claim to make any quantifiable judgement on who deserved funds and whose need was greater. We also do not want to spend the time place a greater or lesser value on each personal situation, rather to spend our time getting this message out there swiftly and to as many as possible to have the most impact. So, very simply, if you ask for it and we have funds available, we will give it to you. The only limiting factor is the amount of money we are able to raise. It is possible we will run out of funds before we are able to fulfil every request.
This campaign is not for the benefit of salaried employed musicians or students.
How to apply
1/ Share this campaign on your social medias, by emails to your contacts
2/ Please read carefully before applying:
Reviewing an application with missing information is not an easy task.
If you want to make sure your application meets the criteria, please read the instructions below.
We will only accept complete applications with the correct attached evidence as explained below. This will allow us to help you faster and dedicate our time to collect funds rather than reviewing unclear applications.
The ''Help Freelance Musicians'' Team accepts no responsibility with regard to any issue linked with emails confidentiality provisions.
SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS MUST INCLUDE:
· Cancelled work evidence (at least 3)
· Proofs of loss of income (min 500£ / 550€) of the cancelled work evidences
· One proof (screenshot) that shows you shared the link of the campaign on your social media.
Examples of a valid evidence/proof: contract, email/message screenshots (no cropping).
We must be able to see CLEARLY that the work has been cancelled and how much you were supposed to be paid.
If your work has been postponed but the replacement date is uncertain, we will consider your application.
APPLICATIONS WON’T BE CONSIDERED IF:
· your screenshots are cropped. We must be able to see the full email.
· the work has been postponed AND you have been offered a replacement date.
· you are receiving a part of the cancelled/postponed work’s fee.
· your application doesn’t show CLEARLY and PRECISELY that the work has been cancelled and how much you were supposed to be paid.
· you are a student and/or a salaried employed musician.
We reserve the right to not consider an application that leaves any unclear figures and/or evidence.
3/ Fill the application HERE .
How money will be sent to beneficiaries:
1/ The money raised by the campaign will be transferred to the international bank account of Europik Music Association, a French association led by Thibault Blanchard. This association is a small entity that supports young musicians in the early stage of their career by organising cultural events. More information about Europik Music Association HERE .
2/ Europik Music Association Team (Thibault Blanchard and Urška Horvat) will transfer 200£ (or its equivalent of € - using the Transferwise exchange rate of the day when the transfer will be processed) to each complete application (within the limit of the funds available).
1. This Fundraiser was created by David Cohen and Thibault Blanchard. All funds will be distributed to artists who apply as needed via Europik Music Association. No one working behind the scenes will be collecting a percentage or a cut out of these donations.
2. We plan to continue to collect and distribute all the funds as long as there are funds available and the need is evident.
3. We are not a professional funding organisation but would like to do everything we can to support our colleagues, friends, who are facing financial hardship in this challenging period.
4. We will keep records of funds’ allocation. We cannot make these records public, for obvious confidentiality obligations, but we remain at the disposal of any trusted institution who would like to review and verify the funds’ allocation. (GoFundMe staff or trusted public institutions).
5. To contact us: [email redacted]
Stay well, take care of each other.
Love and light.
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