Can Independent Music Survive Coronavirus?

The story of how indie changed music forever, but may be devastated by the current health crisis. This 4-part series asks what the live music world could look like in the future.

4x 1hr, by Reduced Listening, first aired December 2020

This is the story of how UK independent record labels rewrote the history of music. From Joy Division to the Smiths, from Oasis to The Prodigy, to the incredible success of Arctic Monkeys and Adele – the biggest acts came from the smallest labels. Across four episodes, each spanning a decade, this series for Virgin Radio will tell the inside story of the people, the albums and how these labels defined the course of popular music.

The coronavirus has obliterated one of the last reliable sources of income that most musicians had left. Many were increasingly only making money through performing, and all of a sudden that revenue stream has been completely and utterly destroyed. Is the term “independent music” still fit for purpose, and what new forms of interdependence will emerge?