Nashville musicians go without jobs or any wages

Nashville Tennessee
Nashville Tennessee

Nashville, Tenn: Colin Poulton, who moved to Nashville in 2008 to learn commercial guitar. He first played a series of the original bands and made his living in the honky-tonks of Lower Broadway with some wedding bands and other bands.

All these rockfests effected abruptly when the pandemic hit. The club’s shutdown on March 16 due to lockdown, the club’s streets in Nashville’s streets usually been packed with commuters is just deserted.

“A lot of us went from having anywhere from four to seven gigs a week to nothing,” Poulton said.

Nashville is a vibrant music industry, a magnet for people like Poulton. It’s known as the home of music in the U.S., thousands of musicians reside there, giving plenty of job opportunities and the camaraderie of a community of artists. It is now geared up with the crisis.

“There’s a lot of confusion and, frankly, fear rampant in the community because they don’t know if they’re going to get something and, if so, how much,” said Dave Pomeroy, president of the Nashville Musicians Association, the local union. Pomeroy added, “probably 100,000 people in Nashville play music professionally. However, they may not all be full-time musicians.”

The state isn’t sure how many nontraditional workers have applied for unemployment, but it has received about 75,000 claims that were initially deemed ineligible. The majority of those are assumed to be from nontraditional workers Department of Labor and Workforce Development spokesman Chris Cannon said.

Poulton lives with his girlfriend and son and says they enough money to meet the expenses for a month. He’s worried but still thinks shutting the clubs was the right thing to do.

“I was anxious going into that petri dish,” he added.