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    Musicians’ work: creativity, community and insecurity

    Woolley, Jason and Christie, Fiona ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1384-3683 (2021) Musicians’ work: creativity, community and insecurity. In: Decent Work : opportunities and challenges. Emerald, pp. 113-128. ISBN 9781801175876 (hardback); 9781801175869 (ebook)

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    This chapter examines the evolving nature of work patterns and income streams for contemporary Musicians in the UK. It explores the experiences of independent, portfolio career Musicians working in the Rock/Pop/Indie/Jazz Live Music scene. The Music industry is reported to contribute £5.2bn in GVA to the economy, of which according to UK Music (2019) £2.5bn is generated by ‘Creative Sector’ workers, which includes performing Musicians. Despite these high revenues, UK Music (2019) consistently reports that many Musicians earn below the average working wage of other professions. Challenges to Musicians’ work and income streams have been compounded by changes in consumption of Music due to digitisation, a lack of systematic support from Government for Grass Roots venues, and unequal revenue distribution. In this context, we reveal findings from research interviews with Musicians, which were conducted just before and during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic (mainly in the North of England and Wales). Our research discovers how these Musicians utilise informal community mechanisms to navigate poor working conditions, value ‘dignity’ and ‘meaningfulness’ above remuneration, and often default to individualist assumptions regarding career success.

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