The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact all of us, and artists have been hit especially hard as tours and shows are canceled for the foreseeable future. With such a major revenue stream drying up almost entirely, finding ways to continue supporting artists in the coming months is an urgent priority for anyone who cares about music and the artists who create it.
On March 20, 2020, we waived our revenue share in order to help artists and labels impacted by the pandemic. The Bandcamp community showed up in a massive way, spending $4.3 million on music and merch—15x the amount of a normal Friday— helping artists cover rents, mortgages, groceries, medications, and so much more. It was truly inspiring.
On May 1, 2020, we did it again and fans paid artists $7.1 million – amazing!
On June 5, 2020, fans paid artists $4.8 million, and so many artists and labels used the day to donate to organizations fighting for racial equity that we had to put together two separate posts (here and here) to list them all.
But the pandemic and its impact on the music community aren’t over, so on July 3, we’re waiving our revenue share for all sales on Bandcamp, from midnight to midnight PDT. Check isitbandcampfriday.com for timezone demystification.
Musicians will continue to feel the effects of lost touring income for many months to come, so we’re also sharing some ideas below on how fans can support the artists they love and how artists can give fans new, creative ways to provide support.
It may sound simple, but the best way to help artists is with your direct financial support, and we hope you’ll join us as we work to support artists in this challenging time.
Co-Founder & CEO
If you’re a fan
We recognize that plenty of music fans are also seeing their livelihoods disrupted by this virus, but if you’re lucky enough to be in a position to spare some funds (or find yourself in that position in the coming months), please consider sharing your good fortune by buying music and merchandise directly from artists on Bandcamp. Today, Bandcamp’s share of sales will also go to the artists and labels you choose to support, and as always, it will reach them in 24-48 hours.
If you already have all the music and merchandise you want from your favorite artists, consider discovering new favorites via our editorial publication, Bandcamp Daily — our best-of’s are a great place to start. Bandcamp Discover is another solid way to find new favorites, and browse our inventory of over 800,000 unique physical items, including vinyl, cassettes, and more. You can also send your favorite music and merch to a friend (there’s a “send as gift” option below every item on an album page and in your collection), or give them a Bandcamp gift card and let them make their own selections.
Finally, most of the items on Bandcamp have an option to pay more than the asking price, and leave a note for the artist. A tip and words of support are always appreciated, but especially so now.
Start by taking a look at the Bandcamp Artist Guide, which is full of recommendations for how to maximize your sales on Bandcamp. The sections on community and merch may be particularly useful right now, as you look to replace income you’ve lost from canceled tours and shows.
We’ll tell everyone with a Bandcamp fan account about the event today, but please help spread the word via your usual social channels and mailing list. You can also use the new Community tab or the Bandcamp Artist App to message your followers about it. In the first three Bandcamp Fridays, artists who communicated with their fans regularly and repeatedly enjoyed the most success.
Many of your fans are actively looking for ways to support you through this crisis. For example, in our first three Bandcamp Fridays, limited edition t-shirts, 7-inch and 12-inch singles, charity releases and re-releases, and tote-bag bundles (!!) were popular with fans. If you don’t have new music or merch, fans love live recordings and early demos, and this is a good time to release them on Bandcamp. We’re also seeing artists offering music production services, as well as video hangouts, lessons, and gear tutorials (these can all be listed as merch items).
A few other tips:
By setting up your own subscription service on Bandcamp, fans can provide you with their sustained, recurring support (check out STS9, Kursa, George Clanton, Papadosio, Steve Lawson, Holy Roar Records, and Greenleaf Music, for example).
If you’re an artist with at least 3 public albums or tracks, be sure to enable the option for fans to buy your full discography. Here’s how.
Make sure your contact email and PayPal email are up to date so you get notifications from us and get paid promptly.
P.S. Many others within the music industry are being impacted as well, including record store owners and staff, tour managers, event producers, venue staff, lighting and sound professionals, janitors, photographers, bartenders, security guards, and more. We encourage you to find ways to reach out and support those affected in your local communities.
P.P.S. The waivers on July 3 do not include artist subscription payments. For more information on Bandcamp’s revenue share, please see our Fair Trade Music Policy.