From events managers, artists, sound engineers, media teams and vendors to “pick pockets”, there are a lot of people that profit and make a living off one event. The creative industry has been hit badly most especially when public gatherings and creative arts festivals have been cancelled.
In the past years there has been an evolution and major changes taking place in the creative industry with sales going online and emphasis on copyrights but locally, it only works for a few. In the case of online sales for example, during the lockdown many initially opted to use the digital platforms by doing online shows but results show that this works in favor of a few well established artists with large digital following and influence and clearly this only accounts for a very small percentage of creatives. Unlike the well-established, the largest percentage of creatives depend on daily or weekly gigs to make ends meet.
Poets, visual artists, dancers, instrumentalists, musicians, actors and the different people directly or indirectly involved in the smooth running of the art coupled with the families that look up to the creatives for survival means the industry supports quite a demographic.
It is noteworthy that creatives in particular artists despite their challenges have continued to use their influence to share positive messages about the crisis and directly offer support to those hit hard by tough times. This resilient gesture by thr creative industry has been played a critical role in lifting spirits amongst masses but simultaneously one the wonders who will lift up the spirits of the creatives.
Music is food for the soul they say, but what good is music if it can’t provide food for bodies of musicians. Creative festivals are usually synced with Western culture summer time and therefore it is usually at this time of the year that festivals are happening across the whole globe and this culture had until covid 19 turned out to be a lucrative form of creativity tourism where people travel to different destinations in multiples of countries to have memorable experiences. Similarly it presents an opportunity for different creatives and performers to bag in slightly bigger pay cheques than usual. Travel agencies, accommodation owners, and flight operators in many countries also follow suit in making enormous amounts of revenue arising from the creative industry. That said, the creatives are the one industry that most governments haven’t offered relief during these hard and trying times.
A few positives however can be noted. Importantly, creatives have used this time of minimized distraction to create more content, have time with their families but most especially reflect on themselves which is key in this emotionally draining field. The pandemic has also exposed creatives to their financial vulnerability forcing many to creatively think of different ways of diversifying their income.
One of the major issues that creatives commonly face is financial discipline given the disproportionately huge sums of money earned from multiples of performances and tours. Often, the largest percentage of earnings is used to sustain the creative luxurious lifestyle filled with parties, expensive trips and multiples partners.
With limited resources therefore, the creative industry is presented with an opportunity to evolve with the evolving economics of the time by creating sustainable business models to cushion any future shocks that could halt physical business. Presently, the unprepared industry can only hold onto the optimism that the political players and governments can recognize the role played by the creative industry in contributing towards the Gross Domestic Profits at different economic scales and create strong plans to sustain both the industry and its diverse players.
The creative industry is the world’s oldest industry and it has survived different waves ultimately passing the taste of time, so undoubtedly it will prosper again. However, I call upon all creatives to continue spreading the positive message and hope amongst the masses but also be able to adapt to the challenging and changing times. After all, the most successful are not the strongest but the most adaptable.