The owner of a Moncton music agency and record label says the new year could be the worst for live music in New Brunswick.
Carol Doucet, owner of Le Grenier Musique, said she predicts 2022 will be even more difficult for the music industry than the previous two years of the pandemic.
In an interview on Saturday, she said the combination of the worsening pandemic, the lack of government grants that have helped performers through 2020 and 2021, as well as venues reserving fewer shows in the New Year mean that many artists are leaving the industry.
“Artists need to play, they need to tour to make a living from their music. We’ve lost a lot of musicians, ”she said, adding that they only booked around 15-20 percent of their regular rate.
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She said that because her artists hadn’t been able to tour in the past two years, they had nearly doubled the production of new music, leaving the artists to streaming, sales and radio plays as the main form of income. .
“Streaming is not very important financially for artists … so it is very important for radio stations to broadcast local music and it is not always easy to convince them to do so,” he said. she declared.
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The unpredictable nature of the pandemic means a lot of work is wasted, especially for its artists who work internationally, Doucet said.
“We have musicians going to Louisiana, Belgium, France, Switzerland in March and April, but we don’t know if that’s going to happen,” she said.
“With all the cancellations, it’s hard to launch new projects because they have to rebook shows that have been canceled. “
She said she and the artists she works with have tried to find alternative sources of income, like online music camps and music lessons, but there’s not much they can do.
Entertainment venues reduce capacity
On Saturday, the province’s new interim measures to slow the spread of the Omicron variant came into effect.
This means that entertainment venues like theaters and music halls must now operate at 50% capacity.
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Gregg Corrigan, co-owner of Happy Craft Brewing in downtown Moncton, regularly books concerts by musicians.
He said many artists contacted him directly “in part because there were fewer venues than there were.”
He is able to provide the necessary distancing by playing numbers in the brasserie section of the building, away from the seating area, and he said he is determined to provide live music for as long as he can.
“If we’re allowed (when the restrictions tighten), we’ll continue to use one man shows,” Corrigan said. “Of course, it won’t be a source of money for us, but that’s okay.”
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