At the beginning of the pandemic, Bandcamp Fridays were set up to support musicians. Today, the scheme is coming to an end. Find out how you can still support independent artists here!
On the first Friday of the month since March 2020, music service Bandcamp has waived its share of revenue to help support artists whose livelihoods were disrupted by the pandemic. Thanks to Covid-19, live performance revenue was halted. Gigs were cancelled and touring musicians who relied on ticket and merch sales for a living were left without income.
With more revenue going towards music streaming services than direct purchases of physical and digital works over the years preceding the pandemic, life without gigging didn’t look viable for artists. Last year, Souncloud revealed it would be switching to a fan powered royalties model. This came as streaming platforms like Spotify were criticised for unfair revenue models. Larger, already popular and wealthy artists were being favoured, making it almost impossible for newer artists to make a living.
Bandcamp is used by musicians as a platform to sell music and create community. Music lovers use the site to discover new music, as well as connect with others. Bandcamp Fridays very much tapped into this supportive community spirit.
Final Bandcamp Friday
With social distancing measures that were introduced at the start of the pandemic have been coming to an end, so too are Bandcamp Fridays.
Today (6th May) is the last chance for artists to receive an average of 93% of money spent by fans on their music. This is opposed to the usual average 82%, according to Bandcamp. Over the course of 17 days since March 2020, fans contributed more than $73 million dollars to artists and labels.
Because of this, Bandcamp continued Bandcamp Fridays into 2022. The site isitbandcampfriday.com cheerfully provided a concise answer as to whether it was a higher revenue share day. Th elist of 2022 dates given only extended to the 6th of May. We are left to assume that this is the final Bandcamp Friday of the year. It will run until 7:59am BST on the 7th of May.
Just because Bandcamp Fridays are coming to an end, it doesn’t mean we should stop giving to artists who produce works we love and appreciate. You can still purchase on Bandcamp, contributing to artists whose lives were so heavily disrupted over the last couple of years.