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Frank & Beans Discuss Balancing Music with Busy Work Lives

Starting a band is a huge challenge, but keeping a band intact when the members have busy lives and bills to pay can be an even bigger obstacle.

Data from UK Music reveals a 32% decline in music creator employment from 2019 due to the effect of the pandemic on gigs, which is the most common way up and coming artists make their money.

The IMS 2023 Business Report revealed that despite the music industry beginning to bounce back, only 20% of creators are able to make a living from dance music. Many were forced to retrain or leave the industry, but most balance their music aspirations with a second job.

Just ask Frank & Beans, a two-piece punk band formed by Milo Dunn-Clarke and Tim Burns in 2016.

Milo, who relocated from Ireland to London and has been working as a barman for the past seven years, gave his take on keeping the work/life/work balance in tune.

He said: "Everything related to music, apart from playing, is quite expensive," "Especially when you're young, people don't pay you an awful lot. They try to pay you in 'experience.'"

Frank & Beans typically earn £20 to £40 per hour of gigging and reduce costs by creating their own merchandise artwork.

Finding a balance between their music and other commitments can be incredibly challenging. Milo stressed the importance of finding a job that allows flexibility, stating, "Musicians should try to get a job you can jump around in.

“If you're in the right job you shouldn't have to think hard about what’s important."

Milo left a previous bar job when it began to interfere with his music.

He said, "My boss said, ‘You’re here to work’ and he didn’t let me go, so I left."

Milo and Tim now strive to practise once a week to maintain their musical skills.

For Milo, dedicating time to practising, recording, and performing live takes precedence over working in a bar.

He said: "People who want to make money through the arts. It’s about how much you love it," "I love practising, touring, gigging, and recording."

The struggle of trying to make a living whilst also doing the thing you love is one felt by many artists within the industry. GigPig strives to eradicate this and is proud to have boosted artists’ earnings by £1.5m since launching in June 2022. GigPig was designed by artists, for artists, with many of the features included on the platform specifically tailored to make booking gigs quick and simple, leaving artists more time to do what they love.