Garbage’s Shirley Manson Says Average Musician “Living Hand to Mouth”

"The average musician can no longer survive let alone thrive under the current conditions"

garbage shirley manson live music enormous strain

Garbage singer Shirley Manson is the latest artist to speak up about the “enormous strain” musicians are facing due to the current state of live music. In a statement posted to Instagram, she said a “large percentage” of fellow musicians “are likely living hand to mouth” as a result.

“Live music is under enormous strain,” Manson wrote in a caption accompanying the cover photo of a recent Vulture report titled The Live-Music Industry Is Broken. “The average musician can no longer survive let alone thrive under the current conditions. We are seeing so many precious talents buckle under the economic injustice of a system that does not pay the creative for their artistic output.”

Manson continued, “Everyone is vying for a handful of venues in order to make a small amount of money to tide them over until the next show, most sailing without a dollar of insurance. A large percentage of musicians that you know and love are likely living hand to mouth.”

She went on to criticize corporations for “making billions” from the work of artists and “sharing none of the profits” before explaining the impact of declining live music on the future of young artists and the industry as a whole.

“So many of the artists that we revere and hold dear throughout history would have been utterly destroyed by this system entirely,” Manson said. “Musicians cannot survive without being paid fairly for their music. And if the live scene fails, the whole ship goes down entirely. All you will be left with is the main stream. No alternative perspectives. Nothing loud. Nothing dangerous. Nothing weird. Little that lasts more than one album cycle.”

To close out the statement, Manson made a call to action “to support legislation that is attempting to reverse this situation once and for all.”

Check out the full post below.

Manson’s statement comes after Animal Collective canceled their UK and European tour while citing a “mountain of touring obstacles” including inflation, currency devaluation, and “bloated” shipping and transportation costs.

Anthrax, Santigold, and Little Simz have also canceled tours this year due to economic challenges, while Sam Fender, Lindsey Buckingham, and Arlo Parks have pulled back for health reasons.


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