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Musicians Iona Fyfe and Lady Nade Share Why They Back the Musicians’ Census 2023

Two musicians backing the survey explain why the Musicians’ Census 2023 is so important.

Published: 02 February 2023 | 4:59 PM Updated: 03 February 2023 | 3:39 PM
Portrait of Iona Fyfe
"It’s so important that as many musicians as possible complete the Census.” Image credit: The MU ©.

The Musicians Census is a UK-wide project to put together the most accurate picture of what it’s like to be a musician in 2023. Launched by the MU and Help Musicians, close to 3,000 people have already taken part.

Supporting musicians in a post-Brexit, pandemic world

For Scottish singer and MG ALBA Musician of the Year Iona Fyfe, the Census is an important way for musicians to tell the union – and other charities and organisations representing musicians – what you need.

Iona says: “As a community of practice, it’s really important that the relevant organisations have the most reliable insight and knowledge about the issues we as workers are facing in a post-Brexit pandemic world, in order for them to continue to serve us in the best way possible. That’s why it’s so important that as many musicians as possible complete the Census.”

Questions in the Census cover different aspects of work as a musician, from different types of work and income to health and wellbeing, and what types of support you need. Your answers will guide and shape our work, and also the work of Help Musicians and other organisations, over the next three years.

Take the Musicians’ Census

Equality, diversity and empowerment in the arts is vital

Bristol based singer-songwriter Lady Nade also backs the Musicians’ Census saying: “I have been a keen supporter of the MU since I was a teenager. The work that the Musicians’ Union do to support musicians is invaluable and as an artist, I’m honoured to be a member and now ambassador for the Musicians' Census.”

Image credit: Joseph Branston. © Musicians' Union

Speaking to The Musician magazine in 2021, she spoke of the importance of equality, diversity and empowerment in the arts. Before the pandemic, Lady Nade hosted Lady Sings for 16 months, bringing together 72 new and established artists to share the stage and make connections. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, she used her social media platforms to speak out against body shaming and to raise awareness of mental health. These issues are central to the Census, which asks about barriers to career progression and how you feel about different aspects of your own wellbeing.

The Census also asks about discrimination and harassment during your time as a musician, and the statistics and insights your answers give will help the MU and Help Musicians support all musicians, whatever their background and wherever they work. For the union in particular, the Census will be crucial to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and campaigning for a fairer and safer industry.

Find out more and take the Musicians’ Census

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From gig players to part-time teachers and professional instrumentalists, MU members can access specialist insurance for musicians. This includes accident cover, health schemes, travel insurance and car insurance add-ons through the Musicians’ Union.

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