“It’s been a roller coaster”: insights from performing artists on the COVID-19 pandemic and cultural policy

Dinardi, Cecilia; Wortman, Ana and Munoz Hernandez, Matias. 2023. “It’s been a roller coaster”: insights from performing artists on the COVID-19 pandemic and cultural policy. Cultural Trends, ISSN 0954-8963 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Before COVID-19, the cultural sector was already in crisis – suffering from precarious labour conditions, intersectional inequalities and insufficient public funding. During the pandemic, performing artists, particularly the self-employed, were hit hardest due to the difficulties of adapting their work to digital audiences, their fragile and unstable economic situation, and the limited financial support available to them. This article examines from a sociological standpoint how the pandemic has affected performing artists in London and Buenos Aires. We discuss, through online in-depth interviews and focus groups, the work strategies that 73 self-employed workers (musicians, actors, dancers, opera singers and circus artists) have deployed to cope with the crisis. Suggestions are made about how cultural policy can best support the recovery of the performing arts post-pandemic, while also reflecting on what our findings reveal about the prospects of cultural policy and the future of the performing arts in Argentina and the UK.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Performing artists; COVID-19; cultural policy; coping strategies; UK-Argentina

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)


22 May 2023Accepted
12 July 2023Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

01 Aug 2023 13:59

Last Modified:

12 Dec 2023 12:55

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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