Tours and concerts are being cancelled left and right due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is taking a toll on musicians who rely on income from live shows to pay the bills -- most artists only take home about 10% of their record sales, so the majority of their revenue has to come from ticket sales and merchandise. To give bands and artists a small boost in sales, Bandcamp is waiving its commission fees on Friday, March 20th. Hopefully this will help musicians weather the storm while venues across the country are closed.
Some independent labels are also waiving their cuts from record sales. Deathwish, for example, partnered with Bandcamp to help its bands which have had their shows or tours cancelled. Fans can buy albums on a "name your price" basis, and all of the revenue that the label would have received will go straight to the bands.
Most musicians live on a shoestring budget. Having tours cancelled is a huge blow, and could have major consequences. Bands could use all the support they can get, so initiatives like this are much needed. Hopefully fans who are staying home can take advantage of Bandcamp's program and download some new music to get through this extended period of social distancing.