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How are we making ends meet?


stewblack

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A guitarist I've worked with has been kicking boxes around for Hermes, now he's gone on to the buildings. 30 odd years teaching his fingers to create music and now those hands will be smashing lump hammers and shoving shovels. It's like a surgeon becoming a coal miner. Nothing wrong with any of these occupations, that really isn't my point.

My singer has just applied for office work, I'm supporting a young disabled guy at his place of work a couple days a week. How are you guys putting new strings on your bass, or food on the table now that the arts cannot offer us a living?

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I remember reading about the guitarist with wasp, he didn't get any money when they weren't touring, so he worked on a building site, and then would get called on short notice and couldn't play much for a bit.

My work hasn't changed at all, so I am in a fortunate position. If anything, slightly better as I am not going to work and not going out at all!

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I work in aerospace supply chain, so I'm probably going to get the bullet soon. There are already 80 redundancies on the way - about a third of the factory's permanent workforce.  I'll take whatever job is available after that. I'm in West Cornwall and jobs are in short supply. The good news is that if I do get made redundant I'll have enough wonga to pay off my mortgage with a few grand left over.

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Fortunately, I never made more than 50 quid here or there from playing music, so that aspect doesn't  fiqure for me.

Fairly lucky (though luck doesn't ultimately come into it).  My salaried job as European Legacy Equipment manager for a large petrochemical company is unaffected, although the private consultancy work stopped dead.  Once my most recent project was completed and the cheque banked that was that, not a whiff of business.

Mrs Bassfinger has a well paid job in a school and also gets her police pension.  We've loads salted away ready for my pending retirement, so weve rejigged our plans to allow me to finish 2 years earlier than envisaged, and ive alreary handed in my notice.  I was going to wind up my own business as I was the only regular employee, and I in turn hired in what i needed, but ive had an offer on that.  They aren't getting a lot other than the name, goodwill, contacts and portfolio of existing work, but thats another 55k in my pocket so I won't knock it. Come February I'll become to be a house husband, although I may still prostitute myself offtimes as a contractor to the chap thats buying the firm.

We're fortunate that our hard work and sacrifice has paid off, just in the nick of time, and we're pretty comfortable.  My thoughts are with those who aren't doing so well.

Oldest daughter owns a hair salon, was previously making a mint but is suffering at the moment.  She'll weather the storm, but her staff are in dire straits.  Instead of having paid staff its normal for salons to hire out a chair to a stylist so they're self employed and will be in real pain right now.

Daughter #2 is a lazy donkey dole mole.

Daughter #3 is a newly qualified accountant and tells me that business is booming, processing all the furlough claims and stuff.  Shes been doing 12 and 14 hour days at home, 6 days a week, but she reckons she'll take 70k this year, which is isn't bad for a newly qualified accountant at 23.  I was opposed to her not going to Uni, but if she had she'd have just left and be earning pittance, if she even had a job at all, so she proved me wrong.

So bookeeping and accountancy is where its currently at if you want to buck the trend. Hang up the bass and buy a calculator.

Edited by Bassfinger
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I have an allowance from my millionaire great Aunt. It helps keep Ubit towers in the style that it is used to. The west wing was in need of repair recently but old aunt Gertie soon had that taken care of. 
I work just to keep from getting bored but intend chucking my job soon as I wish to further pursue my dream of being a top model. My current wife is an international origami champion and gets handsomely rewarded for her work.  This is our string fund and I have a regular supply that arrives bi weekly. I don’t have many regrets. 

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Like many on here, I make a net loss from playing music, so Covid has increased my musical bank balance.

The paid work I do is for a salary, and doesn't look to be affected. I didn't get furloughed, but did have to take a couple of weeks unpaid leave. So I got off pretty lightly, am not complaining and counting myself lucky.

 

Touch wood., obviously!

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Haven’t been paid to play music in living memory, and as I’m retired, all that’s happened is that I’ve spent less.  I even received £25 per car from Admiral in their ‘fewer claims so we refunded a bit’ offer.

We have been helping our two daughters a bit, not because they lost jobs or were furloughed, but just because we could.

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I have had a 'real job' for a few years now and am ok. This is the last month of a 6 month 20% salary reduction and I will be glad of the missing money. The company have said they'll make good before March and so I am hoping for a windfall at some point.

I have a lot of friends who earn their living (or earned, I should say) from music and many are struggling. I am not sure the live scene is going to recover for some considerable time. Add in the (genuine) effect of pulling up the drawbridge, we are (collectively) in for a rough ride as more bands (those that would have toured in Europe) join the competition for the fewer gigs that survive here.

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I'm fortunate because I have a couple of pensions, the mortgage is paid off and I have savings. Money from gigs was handy to pay for toys and fun stuff but I didn't depend on it. My part-time job is closed at the moment, but they're giving me a little furlough money. Don't know how much longer that will last.

My daughter is in secure well paid employment (teacher/department head in a private secondary school), so I don't have to worry about having to help her out (she earns more than I did when I was working full time). So all I have to do is keep my head down and not be careless with my money.

I feel for those who aren't as fortunate and who depend on the weekly or monthly paycheque. It certainly makes me appreciate my good fortune.

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10 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

I would say I do make a few thousand a year playing in cover bands, which has gone, but I spend that all on instruments so and I have sold a few things this year, so it has balanced out!

If I've made as much as a thousand pounds from 40 years of on/off gigging I'd be surprised.  I do it because I love gurning like a bellend while holding an instrument and doing the pogo, not because I thought it would put food on the table. Fortunately.

Edited by Bassfinger
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Retired so no effect for me. Bands are a hobby so any money was a nice bonus but have never relied on it. This is the first band i've been in that was making decent money so a bit disappointed i'm not seeing the benefit form the work we've put in getting it on the road.

Male Singer was a driving instructor and got buttons from Universal Credit (£144 / month) He now works for a packaging company.

Female singer was a nurse who retired during lockdown but has since been asked back on part time basis.

Guitarist was paid off earlier this year and is now a carer.

Drummer is a carer so not affected.

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7
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I’m a full time musician. 
through lockdown I’ve been doing some teaching via zoom, which gets close to making ends meet, but as I have a back injury, I’m limited on what else I am able to do. 
all I can say is that I have been very thankful for the grants and government support Scheme for the self employed. 
not so sure at the moment about the 20% I’ll receive which is supposed to last until I can work at 100%, which is likely to be next year especially when the employed can receive around 75% of their salary while working reduced hours 🤷‍♂️

Edited by dudewheresmybass
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I've lost a ridiculous amount of work this year. I'd got a load of guaranteed shows, which obviously all went, and then the work that normally comes in throughout the year. The self employment payments helped, but to be honest the 2 payments combined worked out to around the same as I would have got in about 6 weeks because I'd scored a better paying gig which has now been rearranged for next year.

It doesn't help that at the start of the year I had paid for a new bass and put down deposits for my wedding. Luckily my house is paid for so I've got minimal outgoings and can get by without having to do anything else just yet.

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I work for a large plumbing goods supply company who supply to most of the large house builders. Our company has closed a few branches and let some staff go but we seem to be doing ok but nowhere near as busy as before the lockdown. I don`t really know what the future holds but who does?

I took my truck for a wash last week and got talking to the guys as usual as the boss is a guitar player. He introduced me to a new guy who is a rigger at the SECC and the Hydro in Glasgow. He has had sod all work now for months so has went from a decent paying job to washing trucks.

The rhythm guitarist in the band works for a plastic supply company and due to need for plastic screens for shops, buses etc has never been so busy. Singer is a teacher so she is ok and the drummer hasnt worked for a couple of years for various reasons.

But on the bright side, although the possibility of playing any gigs is still a good bit away, we have decide to get back into the studio and have a blast so I`m looking forward to that.

We never really made great money from gigging but it helped pay for strings and incidentals. The people I feel sorry for are the ones who made their living from the entertainment industries, how some of them are surviving I don`t know.

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I work for a government owned company in facilities/health & safety, so considered an essential worker, and with a lot of work/challenges over the last 6 months. Who knows what the future will bring but I’m hopeful on a personal note that my job lasts until I retire as I enjoy it. 

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I feel somewhat guilty in that my job involves writing research software; I can do 99% of this from home and doing so has been a lot more pleasant than spending 2 hours commuting each day. It has also saved quite a bit of fuel and parking money, so I have spent it on luthier's fees, more frequent bass lessons, live streamed gig tips etc.

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Music was primarily 'fun' although between May and September I tended to be pretty busy and usually made some nice additional £££. Not enough to quit my day job, but enough to pay for those new toys and a vacation here and there. This summer looked to have been particularly good, but... all I did was a live-streamed gig, purely for fun and to keep the band looking alive.

I do know a few people whose income is entirely music related, and they're struggling.

My day job is still there, so I'm doing ok... but my current contract was meant to end at the end of the year, and new sources of funding (I'm a molecular biologist / bioinformatician doing research) are proving to be difficult. As it stands, my lab has sufficient funds to keep me for 9-10 months beyond my current contract, but if we don't find new funds, I'll be gone... not a good time to be a 52 year old unemployed foreign researcher in this country. Redundancy money will be very helpful (I've been working for the university for 17 years) but it will only get me so far.

I suspect the future for a lot of us will be a time of rediscovery and adaptation. Who knows what I'll be doing next? Is it too late to become a boy-for-rent? 😛  

Edited by mcnach
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I changed jobs 6 years ago.

I absolutely thank my lucky stars really - we worked through lockdown, my wife setting work for kids and me doing welfare checks and keeping in touch with families.

Now both back in our schools - business as usual.

The company I worked for previously seemed to fall apart and they were almost done while furloughed - but have been bought out at the 11th hour.

Lots of mates who’ve struggled/lost jobs.

As well as all my muso and actor mates who are struggling currently 😔

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Touch wood I’m ok at the moment as I’m a key worker doing press and media for the local council.

I am missing the money from regular gigging but it’s not a massive part of my income. 

Hopefully my job will be safe for now, and I’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future. 

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