FREELANCE event musicians are amongst those in the arts who are struggling as restrictions have been imposed.

An East Lancashire wedding band, Vintage Swing Thing, have been performing for about four years with a packed schedule. But they have gone from everything to nothing as 2020 saw wedding receptions cancelled and postponed across the country.

Band manager Jamie Turner said: “Its incredibly difficult, not just from a financial point of view but from an emotional point of view as well.

“We all love performing and not being able to perform has been a source of a lot of stress and anxiety. It’s just been a really tough time.”

The manager of the swing band, which has seven members, has said that although some of the band members have received grants, it isn’t enough to keep them going.

Jamie added: “All the people in the band are freelance musicians so they haven’t been able to access furlough.

“Some of the guys have managed to get self employment grants but a lot of the time it hasn’t been enough to sustain them.

“We have gone from having an income for the last couple of years to zero income for the whole of 2020 and there’s literally nothing we can do.”

On top of having no money coming in, the band have also had couples cancel their wedding receptions meaning that they have had to refund deposits, meaning the band has been hit even harder financially.

The band are hopeful for 2021, with many couples having re-scheduled.