In recent years, the editor of Music Week has been able to make their end-of-year address a positive one.
The music industry has been thriving; the long, dark years of piracy and cutbacks receding in the rear-view mirror. But 2020 has changed all that.
It’s been a long, bleak 12 months in the real world, albeit punctuated with a few moments of joy that only working in music can bring you. But even that doesn’t stop the toll of lives lost and businesses wrecked by a combination of viral malevolence and official incompetence.
Still, if you’re reading this, it hopefully means you made it through. Music Week has been here every week throughout the pandemic, and it has been inspiring to help document the industry-wide initiatives and spirit of unity that sprang out of the despair that gripped the business in March.
Let's hope that – however long it takes for this new normal to become the old very abnormal – the industry remembers its spirit of togetherness
It’s been a long nine months without live music, awards ceremonies or any of the other things that make this industry such a fun place to work in. But with a vaccine being rolled out, there’s a real sense that 2021 could see us getting back to something approaching normality.
That will still come too late for too many, of course. But it’s to be hoped that – however long it takes for this new normal to become the old very abnormal – the industry remembers the spirit of togetherness that got us there.
People outside of the industry sometimes like to portray the music business as a place of venal self-interest and dog-eat-dog morals (of course, there is also a negative side, as Hunter S Thompson would have noted).
But the pandemic response has shown that, when the chips are down and the government is dragging its feet over helping the sector, the music industry is prepared to dig deep and do what it needs to do to help. Let's hope that spirit continues into 2021, even when things get back to business as usual.
After all, one day, we’ll be able to forget about all this and we'll meet again at the back of a venue with an ice cold drink and a red hot band and laugh about how lucky we are to do this for a living.
With London plunging into Tier 3 on Wednesday, it won’t be during this festive season, sadly, but it will be soon. Until then, stay safe and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let’s hope 2021 is a good one, without any fear…
* The special, review of the year edition of Music Week, starring our 2020 Artist Of The Year Dua Lipa, is available now. To order your print copy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To subscribe to Music Week and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.