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Leading players in UK music industry donate £1.5m to musicians hit by pandemic

The coronavirus has had a ruinous effect on the industry.

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The O2 arena has temporarily closed due to coronavirus, with the music industry reeling from the pandemic (Ian West/PA Wire)

The O2 arena has temporarily closed due to coronavirus, with the music industry reeling from the pandemic (Ian West/PA Wire)

The O2 arena has temporarily closed due to coronavirus, with the music industry reeling from the pandemic (Ian West/PA Wire)

Leading players in the UK music industry have pledged £1.5 million to a fund supporting musicians affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on the entertainment sector, with live music performances curtailed in a bid to prevent mass gatherings.

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The coronavirus pandemic has had a ruinous effect on the music industry, with live music venues including the O2 arena temporarily closed (Ian West/PA Wire)

The coronavirus pandemic has had a ruinous effect on the music industry, with live music venues including the O2 arena temporarily closed (Ian West/PA Wire)

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The coronavirus pandemic has had a ruinous effect on the music industry, with live music venues including the O2 arena temporarily closed (Ian West/PA Wire)

Trade association the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said a total donation of £1.5 million would be made to help struggling musicians through the crisis.

Record companies Sony Music Entertainment UK,  Warner Music UK and Universal Music UK, as well as independent record labels Cherry Red and Demon Music Group are among those who have pledged money.

The Brit Awards have also contributed, as have Amazon Music and music licensing company PPL, with most of the money, £1.25 million, going towards the Help Musicians charity’s coronavirus relief fund.

The remaining £250,000 has been earmarked for other charities, the BPI said. The body is also looking for additional contributions, it added.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPI, said: “The music community always comes together when called upon, and we hope this further contribution drawn from all parts of the industry will help to sustain artists in need through this very difficult time.”

The BPI said the latest round of donations mean the Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, which has received more than 17,000 applications in two weeks, will be able to make grants to a further 2,500 musicians in hardship.

PA