Even before Covid, music was broken. Let's use this moment to hit reset | Tim Burgess

The present streaming model makes artists acutely vulnerable to shocks like the pandemic. Something’s got to change

The entire world is in crisis, so you could be forgiven if your first thought is not for the welfare of professional musicians. The image of the pampered rock star sashaying around the grounds of their mansion clutching a bottle of vintage champagne isn’t one that would elicit much sympathy. But that cliche, though true for a tiny few, disguises the reality of life for the vast majority. For years, so many musicians have had to have more than one job to pay their rent – and I’m not just talking about young upstarts in bands that aren’t on the general public’s radar, but familiar names that you’ll know if you listen to BBC 6 Music or read any music magazines or websites.

Even so, things were kind of OK: live shows were thriving, and that meant the chance to head out and play – not just in the dozens of venues here in the UK but also on legendary stages such as Paradiso in Amsterdam, the Bataclan in Paris and at some of the best festivals in the world, like Benicàssim and Primavera in Spain. The excitement of leaving home to play gigs in Europe is still with me after more than 30 years.

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