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Two-Thirds in UK Say They 'Could Not Live Without Music' — As Musicians Struggle

By Anya Wassenberg on January 16, 2023

Help Musicians, a UK-based charity, released the findings from a recent survey that says 67%, or two-thirds, of people in the United Kingdom “couldn’t live without music”. At 45%, just under half believe it is “part of their DNA”.

Help Musicians is dedicated to assisting working musicians at all stages of their careers, and the organization regularly researches the field.

Younger respondents rated it even higher — 83% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 said they couldn’t live without music, and 89% said it was an “important part” of their lives.

Musicians and inflation

Another report released in November 2022, however, charts the dire straits many musicians in the UK find themselves in. With a rocketing cost of living among the major underlying causes, however, it’s a situation musicians all over the globe can relate to.

According to that report:

  • 60% report being worse off financially as compared to a year ago;
  • 78% say they earn less income from music than before the pandemic (March 2020);
  • Over 80% are concerned about meeting basic mortgage or rent expenses;
  • 90% say that their mental health has deteriorated, and it has affected their careers;
  • 91% say their financial struggles include the inability to purchase music-related equipment.

As a result, nearly half of the more than 500 professional musicians across the UK who responded to the survey said they felt they will be forced to leave music as a profession in the near future.

“Music has a power that we must not underestimate,” said James Ainscough, chief executive of Help Musicians in a release quoted by The Strad. “It is a force that brings people together and is intertwined with their very identity. In recent years we have all become even more conscious of how music calms our souls, lifts our spirits, and binds together communities. How ironic then that musicians themselves are facing the most brutal conditions seen for decades.”

Help Musicians has a plan in place, with an estimate that it will take up to £8m from the organization’s reserves this year to provide support to individual musicians.

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