24 January 2023
By Ellie Palmer
Help Musicians and the Musicians’ Union have launched a new nationwide census to generate the first ever comprehensive picture of the UK’s music-making population
Take part here.
Musicians in the UK are being urged to take part in the first Musicians’ Census, launched by the Help Musicians and the Musicians’ Union. The ambitious project aims to both map the total population of musicians and build a picture of what musicians’ lives and careers look like to help develop a deeper understanding of the community within the UK.
Recent research from Help Musicians has shown the cost-of-living crisis, ongoing impact of the pandemic and Brexit, amongst other factors, are all having a ‘brutal’ impact on the UK’s musicians with close to half (49%) saying they are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ concerned they will be forced to leave the industry, whilst a further 35% are ‘slightly or ‘somewhat’ worried they will have to. Repeated every three to five years, the Musicians’ Census will allow organisations such as Help Musicians and the MU to monitor and respond to these challenges.
Data will be gathered on demography, diversity, health and wellbeing, and the breadth of working patterns and income. To ensure all musicians, and everyone working on behalf of musicians, can benefit from the project, key findings will be shared with partner charities and music industry bodies.
This information will help organisations plan how best to represent, advocate for and support musicians in future years, thereby building a stronger, thriving, more inclusive industry.
Naomi Pohl, Musicians’ Union General Secretary comments, "... It’s difficult to understand what today’s musicians really need and how we can help. There are an estimated 37,000 musicians in the UK – over 32,000 of which being members of the Musicians’ Union. While we interact with musicians on a daily basis, but with the community spanning such a broad range of demographics and backgrounds, we know more can be done to understand the holistic picture. This is why we need the Musicians’ Census – to learn more about the community so we can build a better industry, one that’s inclusive, accessible and fair to all."
Need an extra push to take part? Once you've completed the survey, you'll have the chance to enter into a prize draw to win one of five £300 One4All Gift Cards!
The Musicians’ Census officially launched on Monday 16th January. You can take part in the Census here.