Since the pandemic struck half of people working in comedy have lost 50% or more of their income in the last year. That’s one of the bleak findings of a survey led by the Live Comedy Association (LCA) into how the coronavirus has devastated the industry.
And the LCA predicts the grim news is likely to continue, with most people in the business – 57% – not expecting a return to normality this year.
The figures also reveal that four in five people working in comedy, either on stage or off, say their mental health has been negatively impacted by job and industry uncertainty.
Half of people have given serious thought to leaving comedy because of the pandemic – a figure that rises to 60% among people of colour.
When some live gigs briefly returned to England last summer, three-quarters of comics saw their fees decrease, for a significant minority by more than half, indicating the financial struggles facing the industry even when restrictions are relaxed.
Currently, indoor gigs are prohibited in England until 17th May at the earliest, with the hopes that social distancing can be relaxed completely from 21st June – although that depends upon the spread of the virus being contained.
This is why today the LCA is launching the next phase of #SaveLiveComedy – a hardship fund for individuals working across live comedy, both on and offstage. Over the next two months, the Fund will distribute grants to those most in need, making sure that as many as possible can return to work when gigs and shows restart, ensuring that they can keep making you laugh.
They’re launching with £25,000 in support from their Founding Supporter, Panadol, but now they are asking for your help to make sure they can reach as many people across the industry as possible. To find out how you can donate and help click here!