Artists speak out on Covid-19 impact

2020-04-01 06:04
Musician Nishalin Pillay says these are tough times for artists.PHOTO: supplied

Musician Nishalin Pillay says these are tough times for artists.PHOTO: supplied

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WITH events such as concerts, festivals, weddings and more being postponed and cancelled, musicians and artists have expressed how the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted their income.

Pietermaritzburg’s musician Nishalin Pillay said since President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on the outbreak, he had been receiving cancellations.

“Everything has been cancelled in terms of live performances, festivals and even wedding bookings have been cancelled,” said Pillay.

He added that as creatives they are currently trying to figure out online solutions such as live concerts on Facebook.

“It’s not just me, but literally every musician that relies fully on music as a basic income,” said Pillay.

Furthermore, the musician said the situation is quite tricky and has forced artists to go into hibernation, practice and get creative with recording.

Pillay also explained that as far as income goes all musicians and artists are taking a big knock financially.

“We are trying to find solutions via WhatsApp groups as creatives but in terms of earning power, there’s really not much we can do,” said Pillay.

Golden Horse Casino’s resident saxophonist Olajire ‘Yommy’ Abayomi said he has also received cancellations.

“I have resorted to rather studying more about the saxophone online and also to give saxophone classes over a video call or Skype but these times are really hard for the entertainer,” said Abayomi.

Among the many events that have been postponed was the 58th Art in the Park Exhibition & Festival.

Dumisani Mhlongo of the Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association said: “Whilst we focus our attention on supporting efforts to curb the spread of the virus and complying with government’s directives, we have taken a decision to postpone the staging of the 58th Art in the Park (2020) Exhibition& Festival that was scheduled to take place from April 29 to May 3, till further notice.”

He added that as they continue to evaluate the situation, they promise to update exhibitors and stakeholders once new dates have been set.

The popular Royal Show however not been cancelled but postponed, taking place from July 24 to August 2.

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