Nearly a year since lockdown restrictions were imposed in the country, the live events industry continues to feel the crushing consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. The industry — which covers a wide array of sectors such as live music, theater and performing arts, and weddings and trade shows — tallied an estimated revenue loss of Php133.13 billion.
This data is from the National Live Events Coalition PH (NLEC Ph), an organization formed in April 2020 in response to the pandemic’s “critical impact” on the industry. Since their establishment, the group has been actively helping the affected industry workers and freelance creatives.
Helping ‘hidden heroes’
Earlier in January, NLEC Ph was included as one of the special beneficiaries of the 6th Wish 107.5 Music Awards. The group, together with the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit and Roadie Superstar, received a total of Php300,000.
Acknowledging the plight of the people involved in live events, especially those in the live music and gigging circuit, Wish 107.5 innovator Kuya Daniel Razon lauded these “hidden heroes” during his speech.
“Marami po sa ating mga kaibigan mula sa industriya ng musika ang nawalan ng pagkakakitaan dahil sa pandemiyang ating kinakaharap… Pero sa kabila po ng lahat ng ito, patuloy pa rin silang umaawit, lumilikha ng musika, at nagdudulot ng ligaya (Many of our friends in the industry lost their jobs because of the pandemic. But despite all this, they still continue to sing, create music, and bring joy). This evening, I wish to tell all of you that your endeavors are very much appreciated,” he remarked in one portion of the virtual event.
Apart from the grant to the said organizations, the WMAs also handed out cash prizes and donations to the winners and their chosen charitable institutions. A total of Php2.87 million was doled out during the sixth edition of the one-of-a-kind awards show.
On being a WMA beneficiary
Speaking to Wish 107.5, NLEC Ph shared how the grant from the WMAs will help further their cause. The group also reflected on the important role of music during these uncertain times.
What can you say about the philanthropic advocacy of the Wish Music Awards?
Wish 107.5 demonstrates outstanding civic service and social compassion through its philanthropic objective. The support and advocacy of the Wish Music Awards is a highly commended endeavor especially at a time of unprecedented crisis such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, which has dealt a very heavy blow to those who make their living and have established careers in the Live Events industry.
The aid greatly assists our non-stock, non-profit organization in continuing our work to look after the welfare of our impacted freelance and retrenched workers, as well as companies in dire need of assistance to stay afloat. The advocacy of Wish Music Awards is a positive influence that will endure through years to come especially in its recognition of the creative industry where Live Events have its place.
How will Wish 107.5’s donation be beneficial for your organization?
The NLEC Ph seeks a post-pandemic future where live entertainment continues to thrive and live events remain to be economic contributors to the country. The group wants to sustain the culture and the arts through live experiences for future generations.
The generous donation from Wish 107.5 will help us achieve this mission and encourage our volunteers to soldier on.
We have partnered with the Artists Welfare Project Inc. (AWPI is a long standing and respected organization in our industry helping freelance creatives for over ten years), with which we share received donations, to further help individuals and their families in dire need of aid.
Currently, NLEC Ph and AWPI have been at the forefront in assisting freelance creatives in obtaining aid from the Department of Labor and Employment DOLE/CAMP subsidy by relentlessly meeting with DOLE, compiling a comprehensive list of freelance workers, and making sure each freelance worker is accounted for.
What is the role that music plays especially during tough times?
Music will always create a sense of healing in societies. It helps in regulating the health of our biological and social bodies amid medical catastrophes in these tough times.
Live Music with concerts, festivals and gigs are sectors under Live Events and are thus considered as stakeholders of the NLEC Ph.
In our data study (conducted on May 12, 2020), we have estimated the worth of the Philippine music industry to be over Php120 million pesos annually, with two major income streams. First is live music, which makes up over 50% of total revenues and is derived mainly from ticket sales and sponsorships from live performances.
The second is recorded music, which combines revenue from streaming, digital downloads, physical sales and licensing revenues. Recorded music today is close to the industry’s pre-piracy peak — a testament to the growing adoption of streaming services by music labels, indie artists, and consumers.
Streaming now makes up almost half of the recorded music revenue. This clearly shows the major role music plays during this crisis with the upward spike and trend.
Music, in general, has become an antidote to the growing sense of alienation and isolation in society because of social distancing, quarantine measures, and the halting of Live Music.
In the face of uncertainty that the pandemic has wrought, music is a social balm for soothing anxiety, enhancing community connections, and acting in defiance of a threat to community spirit.
As the saying goes: “No music, no life.”
What is your message for the artists who continue to spread positivity through music?
We ask artists to relentlessly pursue their artistry and be an intangible remedy to our society which is ailing from the uncertainty of the pandemic and yearning to be comforted in isolation.
Music brings light to anyone lost in the dark, hence we encourage all artists to continuously heal our society in this dismal period by spreading much needed light and positivity through their music.
Your music with the message of positivity is an incredible force in uniting people. Keep spreading the love and love comes back to you.
What is your message to Wish 107.5 and its President and CEO Kuya Daniel Razon for using the station as a platform for music and charity?
We are extremely grateful for your magnanimous support for the music industry and your noble commitment in utilizing Wish 107.5 at the true service of the country.
Your advocacy will leave a lasting positive impact and your charity gives strength to the industry to weather the particularly challenging storm of this pandemic crisis.
Equally, we cannot thank you enough for your consideration of our volunteer organization as a beneficiary of the Wish Music Awards and we salute you for your sincere concern for the Live Events industry.
The mere recognition by your company of the plight of the Live Events industry is already a heartfelt gesture. It helps raise the awareness of the severe economic impact and job loss that we are suffering from the complete shutdown of live events because of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.