From rescheduling Coachella and postponing tours to cancelling gigs all around the world, COVID-19 has totally upended the music industry.
The global spread of coronavirus has put music as we know it on indefinite pause, and with social distancing rules, travel restrictions, and crowd controls in place, it could be a long time before anyone goes to another “normal” concert.
For budding artists, performers, and musicians, the effects can be — and have been — devastating. According to a recent survey by Music Canada and Connect Music Licensing, nearly half of artists surveyed reported they've lost more than 75% of their income since the crisis hit.
During the COVID era, artists are working hard to keep fans entertained while practicing social distancing and self-isolation, but that can be a difficult task for emerging artists who don't yet have a large fan base. RBC wants to change that.
On May 20, RBCxMusic announced the launch of a new virtual performance series, First Up with RBCxMusic, to support and promote emerging Canadian musicians and recording artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 100 artists from a variety of musical genres will be selected to participate in the program, with 40 artists being selected for the first round.
Providing support where it's needed, RBC will give selected artists a $1,000 stipend (or up to $1,500 for a group of 2 or more selected participants) to perform a 30-minute virtual set hosted on the artist's personal Instagram.
Artists will also receive media and promotional support from RBC and will have access to mentorship and networking opportunities with well-known artists through RBC's partnership with Live Nation Canada. Applications for First Up with RBCxMusic are officially closed but you can still tune in for the performances starting June 25, 2020 at 5 p.m. EST.
A schedule of each week’s musical performances will be shared at the beginning of the week on the RBCxMusic Instagram Channel, with performances taking place Thursday through Sunday evenings beginning June 25.
First Up with RBCxMusic
Price: Free for musicians and recording artists to apply.
When: Applications to perform are now closed but the concert series will begin June 25.
Where: Concerts will take place on selected artists' Instagram channels.
Why You Need To Participate: Emerging artists across Canada have the chance to earn $1,000 to perform a 30-minute virtual set, receive promotional support from RBC, and have access to mentorship and networking opportunities with renowned artists.