Musicians prevailing amidst Covid challenges

Festive income underwhelming

07 January 2021 | Art and Entertainment

Vaughn Ahrens; Musician; “I felt more like a policeman than a musician…”

Swakopmund • [email protected]


Many musicians were waiting with bated breath for the recovery of the industry in the festive season after an unpredictable year.

However, many musical talents feel they got less than they bargained for this year.

Musician Riaan Smit, who moved back to Namibia during the early days of the pandemic, says that musicians need to work harder for far less.

“I am working 20 times harder and am not even making the same money that I normally would. Bars aren’t hiring musicians, it’s just not viable for them,” Smit said.

Still, he remains grateful, saying, “this is better on musicians who have reputations. No-names can’t charge at the door.”

Smit hopes that the dire situation that the industry finds itself in, will change for the better by the end of 2021.

Livinge Dennis (formerly known as Miss H, now H) says that the extra cash is valued but is not enough to sustain musicians as it normally would.

“I wouldn’t say that this is sufficient, but I think we’re good to handle January.”

She says that a few shows inevitably ended up being cancelled.

“We had to cancel a show or two due to restrictions, but we’re working around this and trying our best to get creative with it.”

Fans’ support has been incredible, according to Dennis.

“I think there’s this mutual kind of support from our fans. They are following Covid regulations – wearing masks, sanitizing and maintaining distance, and it’s nice to know that you as a musician have that kind of support.”

Vaughn Ahrens admits to being an exception to the rule saying, “I’ve been doing a lot of corporate stuff, so I might be an outlier.”

Ahrens, who did 12 live performances in the three weeks before Christmas Day, says that the festive spirit was dampened.

“We can’t do anything festive this year. I felt more like a policeman than a musician because we constantly had to ensure that the people were adhering to regulations.”

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