The UK’s AIM launches COVID-19 Crisis Fund for independent music contractors

The UK’s Association of Independent Music (AIM) has launched a support fund for contractors and freelance workers in the independent music industry who have lost income for April and May as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AIM and its members have committed an initial £500,000 to the fund and the organization is “urgently” inviting further contributions from the wider music industry, with an end target of £1 million.

AIM’s goal is to distribute £1,000 to 1,000 workers within two months.

The organization’s support program follows last week’s announcement that Paris-based Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM) has unveiled a €6 million ($6.7m) fund and advances on royalties as part of emergency measures to help its author, composer & publisher members during the Coronavirus crisis.

German performing rights organization GEMA launched an emergency aid fund last week worth up to €40m ($43m) for its songwriter and composer members.

British collection society PRS for Music  also launched an immediate PRS Emergency Relief Fund to support its members during the Coronavirus pandemic, which will see grants up to a value of £1,000 awarded based on assessment of individual need.


The AIM fund is open to any contractors due to work with new and developing artists currently signed to AIM member labels who have lost committed income because of cancelled artist projects and do not qualify for other hardship funds on offer.

Workers include the likes of tour crew members, producers, engineers, radio pluggers, graphic designers, stylists, publicists.

To qualify for support, workers must be self-employed contractors or be the sole employee of their own loan-out company and not be currently benefiting from any other music industry COVID-19 support scheme.

They also need to be nominated by their employing artist’s AIM member label, and will be required to submit confirmatory back-up information.

AIM member labels will invite signed artists and their managers to nominate candidates to be pre-approved on this basis.

Qualifying workers will receive up to 80% of their lost committed income from the project to a maximum of £1,000 and payments will be made immediately on approval directly into workers’ bank accounts. Priority will be given to UK and Ireland nationals and residents.

AIM Members responded to a sector-wide survey conducted between March 27-31, devised in collaboration with the Creative Industries Federation, which revealed that 96% of music businesses surveyed have lost income as a result of Covid-19, and 40% have lost all of their income. Despite this, 82% have not made any workers redundant.

“We have already seen a hugely encouraging show of support for those who are struggling, but there is still more to do. This is a call to arms. Together, we can get through this.”

Paul Pacifico, AIM (pictured main)

AIM CEO Paul Pacifico (pictured) said: “We are hearing daily reports of creative and innovative ways that AIM Members are working directly with their artists and teams to alleviate hardship through the crisis.

“Independent music businesses are holding on to their workers and trying wherever possible to keep their teams together in spite of the losses they are facing.

“They are helping artists financially where possible but also with practical measures and resources, and with emotional support in this difficult time of isolation.”

Continued Pacifico: “Despite government initiatives and the groundswell of support from the music industry, there are still many thousands of workers being left behind without the help that they need to get through this difficult time.

“Many of these people have suddenly found themselves with no source of income and with families to support, while government support measures for microbusinesses are hard to access for creative businesses and those for the self-employed are not expected to kick in before June.”

“The independent sector’s strength lies in its sense of solidarity and community. We have already seen a hugely encouraging show of support for those who are struggling, but there is still more to do. This is a call to arms. Together, we can get through this.”

“In this moment of global crisis, it is so important for AIM to enable our community in getting help to those in most critical need.”

Peter Quicke, Ninja Tune / AIM

AIM Chair Peter Quicke (MD, Ninja Tune) added: “In this moment of global crisis, it is so important for AIM to enable our community in getting help to those in most critical need.

“Music has the power to help many of us to get through social isolation and other aspects of this crisis, and we must do our bit to support those people, particularly from behind the scenes, who help bring so much joy to so many, but who are at risk of being left behind in the current aid packages on offer.”

“This fund provides an essential life-line to many people on whom we all rely for the future of our sector, but who at the moment are at risk of being left behind.”

Martin Mills, Beggars Group / AIM

Martin Mills, AIM founding Board Member and Chair of Beggars Group, said: “Smaller labels and emerging artists in the independent sector are often not able to provide cash flow relief to people in their wider teams impacted by Covid-19 cancellations.

“This fund provides an essential life-line to many people on whom we all rely for the future of our sector, but who at the moment are at risk of being left behind.”

To pledge a contribution, please email [email protected]Music Business Worldwide

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