The Erasmus Trustfonds supports research to strengthen resilience of Dutch pop music sector

Pauwke Berkers and Frank Kimenai (ESHCC) have been awarded funding by the Erasmus Trustfonds for their research on the long term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Dutch pop music sector. Their study will look into future scenarios and transformations of the sector, and how these can contribute to sectoral resilience and to societal wellbeing.

The impact of the COVID-19 measures on the cultural and creative industries (CCI) has been immense. The music sector specifically has been hit hard: festivals were forced to cancel, venues had to close doors, artists became unemployed and production companies went out of business. The crisis revealed to the outside world what was already widely known within the sector: the precariousness and the lack of resilience of the sector make it highly vulnerable. On the other hand, the crisis showed the importance of music in the current societal challenges. Initiatives like balcony concerts that connect people in isolation, or virtual concerts by symphonic orchestras that alleviate stress emerged shortly after lockdown. The aim of this study is to create future scenarios to help transform the sector towards a more resilient model, thereby increasing its impact to societal wellbeing. Most current studies have been focused on the (short-term) economic impact of the crisis.

This study aims at a long-term, systemic approach, drawing form state-of-the-art theories and transformation principles for building resilience in complex socio-ecological systems. Research will be conducted in collaboration with the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development (University Utrecht) and several sectorial partners and policy makers.