Toronto has always been a great city for music. Decades ago the downtown core was filled with popular music venues. For example Neil Young and The Band played here a lot early in their career. That being said, Toronto musicians need help right now.
But as you surely know, things are not what they were before the pandemic. Indoor gatherings have been cancelled for over a year, which has devastated musicians by making concerts impossible.
Smaller, intimate venues like The Hideout and The Orbit Room have shut down, as have larger spaces like the Mod Club. It’s not clear what the music scene will be like after the COVID-19 vaccination is fully rolled out and things return to normal.
Musicians here need help generating income and feeling inspired.
Print on Demand
Selling merch at concerts has been a popular way for musicians to supplement their ticket sales, but it’s moved offline now. You can be printing products on demand in Canada with your band’s logo on them without much effort since there are platforms designed to take all the stress and logistics out of the equation.
Just upload your custom-designed band decals, or pick a design from an auto generator. Choose which products you want to sell and a provider. The drop shipping sales approach means the customer buys directly from the printer, so you can rehearse your tunes while your products sell, rather than worry about the nitty-gritty of marketing and printing.
Recharge your battery
Musicians don’t have 9-5 jobs where they punch in and punch out. While music is a business, musicians need to be inspired to play at their best, and that’s when they have the most fun, too.
Many musicians report feeling overwhelmed right now. It’s hard to be in a musical headspace or feel like playing when things are bleak.
Do what’s best for your mental health! This could be everything from seeing a therapist, going for long walks, or taking some time away from your instrument to get a clear head.
Perhaps you need to forget about your own music and revel in the sounds that made you want to become a musician in the first place.
Seek financial help
There are resources out there for musicians who could use some financial help. See what government COVID-19- related assistance you qualify for or ask your fans for support.
Sometimes artists struggle to reconcile their pure love of music with supposedly base considerations like money — this is not the time to worry about that! Starting a GoFundMe online can be helpful, and it’s not fundamentally any different than passing around a tip jar at the show.
Your fans would love to have your back! The music community is a tight-knit group, and there are other organizations aside from the government that can help.
Nobody is having an easy time of things right now, but some professions are more disrupted than others. Musicians thrive off the feeling they get playing live music for an appreciative audience, so the pandemic has decimated their inner life and their livelihood. Hopefully, the above tips will help Toronto musicians make some badly-needed income and refuel their creative energy.