AIM Covid-19 Crisis Fund opens to wider applications for contractors & freelancers
News: 11th June 2020 by Stef Loukes under Artist Managers, Finance, Law & Music Business, Music Training & Careers, Record Labels, Selling & Distributing Your Music
The Association of Independent Music (AIM) has announced that its Covid-19 Crisis Fund is opening to further applications and covering a greater period of lost work as the Coronavirus pandemic evolves.
AIM’s Crisis Fund was launched in April to provide financial aid to freelancers and contractors who are facing hardship due to lost work on cancelled projects with independent artists signed to AIM Members.
So far nearly 200 beneficiaries have received aid to help them through the crisis, working across a range of roles including tour managers, live crew, sound engineers, producers, agents, managers, promoters and publicists, as well as AIM record label members and developing artists themselves.
Self-employed workers make up around 72% of the music industry and are a vital part of its success. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many are facing ongoing and deepening hardship - falling through the cracks of the various music industry hardship funds and government support available.
In recognition of this, and thanks to the generosity of its donors, AIM is able to evolve the fund and extend the period of lost work covered into June/July, in addition to the initial period of April/May. Applicants can now receive up to £1,000 for each two-month period. Receiving aid for one time period does not preclude beneficiaries from applying again for the other.
Eligible contractors and freelancers can now apply to the fund directly, or alternatively AIM members can continue to nominate. All applications can be submitted via the AIM site here: bit.ly/aimfund
AIM particularly welcome applications from individuals from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Backgrounds (BAME), women and non-binary individuals, those who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) or are registered as disabled as these groups are currently underrepresented within the music industry.
AIM and a number of its members and stakeholders have pledged contributions to the fund including: Beggars Group, Believe, Cherry Red Records, Elephant Music, EmuBands, Ninja Tune, PPL, Specific Music and SRVL. Contractors and freelancers who have already received support were due to work with a vast range of independent artists, from the grassroots to more established names including Bonobo, FKA Twigs, Fontaines DC, IDLES, Jordan Rakei and Laura Marling.
Last month, independent artist Sega Bodega released a surprise EP named ‘Reestablishing Connection’ to raise money for the fund. Featuring collaborations with artists including Låpsley, Dorian Electra and Oklou amongst others, he raised £3,000 with the project.
Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM said: “Due to the generous support of our donors, we are now able to extend support from the Crisis Fund to cover a greater time period, which could prove crucial for many of our members and the emerging artists and freelance workers on their teams as the pandemic evolves. Hardship takes many different forms. We want to make sure that we’re supporting our community to keep them healthy and safe through this trying time.”
To deliver funding quickly and securely, AIM partnered with the digital solution LightningAid. Launched in response to the COVID-19 crisis by the financial inclusion team at Railsbank and a group of volunteers in the fintech community, LightningAid enables government bodies, NGOs and community groups to distribute financial support quickly, securely and transparently.
AIM welcomes further donations, which will make a huge difference to the independent community and the whole music ecosystem. To pledge a contribution, please email [email protected]
Joeseth Carter, Tour Manager for Bonobo & Jordan Rakei, said: “The Live Music industry, which relies on bringing people together to enjoy music, was one of the first to be impacted by Covid-19 & will likely be one of the last to return to normality. As a Tour Manager, I have been unable to work since March when restrictions on travel & bans on mass gatherings came into place. It’s difficult to envision returning to a normal work rate anytime soon, as the ongoing effects of this global crisis keep the brakes firmly on our industry. Unable to earn a living coupled with not meeting the eligibility criteria for the government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has left me with a significant strain on finances and the stress that comes with it.
Receiving support from the AIM Crisis Fund has hugely alleviated that financial strain & given me peace of mind that I can make ends meet for a while until we can bring live music to the masses once again. I am beyond grateful for the support given to me and know that this fund has and will help many in our industry during this strange, difficult time. I can’t wait to return to work, it’s just not the same putting itineraries up in my bedroom for a tour between my bed & sofa!”
Qualifying workers must be:
- A self-employed contractor or the sole employee of their own loan-out company
- Either an AIM Member themselves or working with an AIM member business
- Or a developing artist signed to an AIM Member business
Qualifying workers will -
- Need to provide confirmatory back-up information of lost work with an artist signed to an AIM Member business.
- Receive up to 80% of their lost committed income from projects in April/May and/or June/July to a maximum of £1,000 for each two-month period. Once the LightningAid account has been opened, payments will be made directly into it.
Association of Independent Music AIM expands Covid-19 Crisis Fund