Devin Townsend is just one of the many artists who’ve taken a major financial hit during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact the celebrated musician had to launch a GoFundMe campaign in an effort to recoup losses he sustained when he had to postpone the remaining dates on his North American tour.
Townsend was in the middle of his “Empath Tour” with support from Haken and The Contortionist when he made the decision on March 12th to postpone the rest of the dates.
On Monday, Townsend reached out to his fans seeking funding during this difficult time. His explanation for launching a GoFundMe serves as a sobering account of why so many musicians are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic:
“I know this is undoubtedly the least appropriate time to ask for this, as I’m sure we’re all trying to figure out what to do in these troubled times, but the cancellation of my recent tour had significant financial implications and with no idea how to make income for the next while, I am asking for some help to sustain my family whilst being able to continue working on new musical ideas.
As with any significant tour, the investments of putting up a good show with a fantastic crew and band are massive. There’s lightning rigs, video screens, tour busses, work visas, merch production & logistics, international flights and a ton of other things that require financial backing and when a tour gets cancelled due to government restrictions there’s no insurance policy in place to cover any of that. As with so many of my peers (and people in general of course) dealing with the same problems, it means that I’m struggling to keep the business afloat.”
In response, Townsend’s fans have come through in a big way. The musician had set a goal of $50,000 on GoFundMe, and it has already been surpassed, with the total nearing $60,000 as of this posting.
As a thank you to those who contributed as well as a gesture to all of his fans during this difficult time, Townsend has launched a series dubbed “Quarantine Project” that will find the Canadian artist delivering new music across multiple platforms. The first song is titled “Quarantine”, with Townsend describing the project as follows:
“Hello all, welcome to the first installment of my ‘Quarantine Project’
I want to be able to provide some relief during these coming times in the ways that I am able to. People have been supportive of me in my time of need with the GoFundMe campaign, as we lost a lot of revenue due to the current and foreseeable touring cycle, and want to make sure I can provide something that in some way begins to say ‘thank you’. In the ways I’m able, I will provide as much content as I can during this period as its what I feel I can offer.
My company has a lot of people involved, and your support has saved us in so many ways. I know we are all affected by this and yes, I could look for another job during this period like so many others will have to, but I figure that the best thing I can do is focus on my work and hopefully provide some sort of relief doing what I’m best at. I want to give back as much as I can over the next while, and I hope that some of the work I can manage here will provide a bit of comfort during these troubled times for those who enjoy what I do.
This first song is just a melancholy sort of thing called ‘Quarantine’ to start the proceedings. The idea with this is that it may be many different styles, Twitch streams, concerts, perhaps a podcast… I have been kept afloat by the audience and wish to help in any way I can.”
Listen to Devin Townsend’s song “Quarantine” below, and pick up his latest album, Empath, here.