Mr. Hoylman added that many of these performers were stuck in other cities and countries as Covid surged during the Delta and Omicron waves, “unable to pay for their expenses and get home because their concerts and appearances were canceled.”
Marc Ribot, 67, a touring guitarist based in Brooklyn, said that he and his musician peers make most of their money on tour.
“I toured with my band Ceramic Dog in Europe in late November and early December, and I can tell you it was like swimming two or three feet in front of a shark,” Mr. Ribot said. “We played in Berlin and two nights later, Berlin shut down, and it was like that in more than one city. We lost two gigs, and I think one or two others switched to livestreaming.”
These cancellations, he said, can cost thousands of dollars per tour in nonrefundable plane and train tickets and accommodations.
“What looked like an 18-month vacation from the outside was, from the inside, 18 months in which I always had gigs that I had to practice for and prepare for,” he said. “Then you find out three weeks or two weeks in advance: ‘Actually, it’s not possible.’ No one wants to cancel until they’re sure.”