General Information about the
COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund

General Information
about the
COVID-19 Blues Musician
Emergency Relief Fund

The Blues Foundation established the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund to provide immediate resources to full-time professional North American blues musicians whose revenue streams have been severely diminished by the current coronavirus pandemic. The fund is intended for blues musicians for whom performing makes up the bulk of their income and who have no other outlets for work. A professional blues musician with financial need will be considered for an award by the Fund Committee based on the subjective merits of their application and financial need. Award amounts are intended to assist primarily with immediate essential needs such as food, rent/mortgage, utilities, phone and car payments. Medical insurance premiums will also be considered.

COVID-19 Relief Fund Recipient Testimonials

Out of all the organizations helping musicians, The Blues Foundation in Memphis gave our band the most hope! They were prompt in response, speaking person to person with common sense and concern for the well-being of real blues musicians. They helped our band members where others could not, because they were understanding of the blues artist lifestyle, with the application forms simple and the response rapid. Our guys, and gal, felt hope from this. It was not so much the amount, although when you are talking about paying off an electric or gas bill or some rent, it is amazingly close to the heart of a blues band. But it was the thought that someone cared and would do something to help a group of people, because they play blues, and have dedicated their lives to playing blues. That means partnership, and when a group is connected to the larger world of the blues industry, that means hope. So, we thank The Blues Foundation for the reality of hope! 

Dave Weld

Musicians pull the people of the world out of their everyday lives and take them on a trip to better places with music. In times of trouble, and in times of joy we are always there with our notes to help people, but there are times when we might need some help ourselves. Right now, we are going through the greatest test of the human race since 1918. Our profession playing blues music has no shows, or CD sales, no album productions or festivals, and right now we, as a whole, we need a helping hand to get us to the other side. The Blues Foundation COVID 19 Relief Fund was and is there to support the musicians that create the beautiful and long-lasting music that they are named for. They went above and beyond and proved, certainly to me, the phrase we all use: “Yours In The Blues” I want to thank them and never forget, “We Are All In This Together”. 

Bobby Messano

On behalf of Melvin and myself, we’d like to thank The Blues Foundation so so much for your assistance! I could cry right now. This is such a blessing and we’re so grateful. This will help relieve some of the stress that we and so many others in the Blues community are facing right now. When we get on the other side of this thingWe will definitely pay it forward. Thank you also for the membershipGod Bless and be safe. 

Sheila Smith

Music has a way of magnifying what’s important in this life, and dissipating things that are not. Right now, togetherness is important and I’m thankful for The Blues Foundation. The support they have given me and musicians alike during a time like today is unmeasurable. Thank you! 

Tikyra Jackson

I can’t begin to explain the massive amount of help that the relief funds from The Blues Foundation has done to help a lil’ ole musician like me and my family to help keep a roof over our heads. I am very grateful. Thank y’all so much. 

Eric Gales

Additional Resources

Equal Sound, an organization that strives to break down traditional genre boundaries through events and advocacy, is inviting musicians who have lost income due to the pandemic to apply for funds. Applicants must provide proof they had a confirmed concert cancelled over the coronavirus to receive the money.

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Artists and bands who have been displaced from touring due to the pandemic can list their merchandise on this site to help offset lost revenue — with zero charges or fees.

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The Recording Academy and its charitable foundation MusiCares have committed $2 million in total to a COVID-19 Relief Fund, established to assist those in the music community who have been affected by the pandemic.

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The Music Covid Relief resource is brought to you by the partners in the U.S. Music Community to help music professionals access information and applications to receive benefits made available by the CARES Act (Phase III of the Coronavirus Stimulus bill signed into law March 27, 2020).

You will find information on filing for unemployment, small business loans, grants, and more.

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The Nashville-based Music Health Alliance provides healthcare support services to uninsured members of the music industry.

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Sweet Relief has established a donor-directed fund to be used specifically for musicians and music industry workers affected by the coronavirus. Funds will go towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses for those who get sick or lose work due to the pandemic.

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