Music is a source of joy throughout our lives and has the power to connect and bring people together. In times like this we need it more than ever.
Right now, there are thousands of professional musicians and singers unable to perform and earn a living. Tours have been cancelled and venues closed due to the coronavirus crisis. So we have created Lockdown Presents; a new gift experience allowing friends and family to enjoy personalised live music performances via video conference. We are committed to creating opportunities for paid performances so artists can flourish, not just survive, during Lockdown.
From birthdays and anniversaries to weekly family get-togethers, a Lockdown Presents concert is a special way to make someone’s day. 80% of the booking fee goes to the performer and the rest is split between three incredible front line charities: Mind, Age UK and Refuge.
We appreciate that the coronavirus crisis has affected everyone in some way. Many people have been furloughed or lost their jobs, and not everyone is in a position to donate. If you are able to help us drive this platform and create paid work opportunities for musicians and singers at this difficult time, please read on to find out more.
Your donations will go towards helping us turn Lockdown Presents into a busy hive of bookings and performances so that we can support more artists. We have the passion and the foundations. Now we need to scale up.
How does Lockdown Presents work?
The concept is simple. You book one of our professional musicians or singers from the world of classical, opera, jazz, rock, pop and theatre to perform a personalised gig for your video chat with family or friends. You choose a date and time, and decide how long you want the performance to be. Prices start from £30 for a 15-minute gig. You’d be amazed how much joy this experience can give to somebody who loves music.
It could be a surprise for your grandma's birthday, a last-minute Father's Day gift, a get together for a cancelled wedding day, or a music round for your weekly quiz. Sometimes you don’t need a reason at all other than wanting to do something thoughtful that will make your loved ones smile.
The platform has been live for a month now and the feedback so far has been brilliant. Here’s a quote from one of our first customers who booked cellist Abi Hyde-Smith, a cellist who has played with the BBC Philharmonic, to play a surprise concert for her mum and dad: “Abi, that was truly incredible! My parents loved it! I was worried it might be awkward but you did such a lovely job keeping the conversation flowing. Truly the highlight of this whole lockdown so far! Thank you so much for sharing your time and talents with us all.”
Our musicians have given us very positive feedback, and said it has been a source of joy and delight for them as well. Talking about her experience, Sophie Dicks, who has previously performed with the Welsh National Opera and Opera Holland Park, said "Lockdown Presents is a great concept because it gives singers like myself an opportunity to keep performing when venues are closed and shows have been cancelled. It's lovely to have a reason to perform again. I enjoy being able to interact with my audiences on a more personal level and see the smiles on their faces."
What are we raising funds for?
Running the platform has minimal costs since the founding team are doing it pro-bono and have the relevant tech skills. They are also working with people on furlough who have kindly volunteered their expertise. The platform has gone through the beta-testing stage and the tech all works and customers have loved their gigs; it has made so many people laugh, smile and occasionally shed a little emotional tear. The experience has been really positive for both customers and musicians alike. So now it is time to get the project out there in earnest.
In order to secure a higher volume of bookings so our performers can earn more and raise more for charity, we need to increase awareness of Lockdown Presents. And to get more people to know about it, we need to invest in marketing. We are therefore crowdfunding for the budget to run a paid marketing campaign that will grow the business and support our performers.
This is in addition to the organic and earned marketing and PR we are already doing to increase awareness.
Who are the performers?
Lockdown Presents artists are all professional musicians and artists who would otherwise be playing in concert halls, theatres, venues and recording studios alongside some of Britain’s renowned orchestras, ensembles and bands. We meet all performers to check they would be a good fit and do a sound check before they join the platform. Artists available for bookings include flute player Chloë Vincent who has performed with the likes of The Who and Madonna, as well as playing for the Queen; English National Opera Harewood Artist Elgan Thomas; and international saxophonist Greg Sinclair who has performed at the legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott's and the O2 Arena.
The cost of the service is set to be accessible (you pay-what-you-can, subject to a £30 minimum fee) which is unrelated to the performers’ normal professional wage. There is an option to tip the artists after a gig, with 100% going directly to the artist.
Please, if you can, help us provide support for musicians and singers in financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Most of them have lost thousands of pounds in earnings. Job opportunities have drastically decreased. And many of them don’t qualify for the same support as others because they are self-employed.
Find out more about our project at www.lockdownpresents.com