The ash cloud is over, no wait, it’s not… flights will resume… but not for long.

Even though no one has a clue what’s going on here’s a little look at what the lack of flying could mean for the UK music industry if it goes on for a while…

Iceland volcano
(May not accurately reflect the volcano as it looks now…)

The Volcanic Blast (dibs on that band name…) has grounded flights across Europe, cost the economy at least £500 million, and left 150,000 people stranded abroad.

How long it will last for no one really knows (volcanoes can erupt for months/years). The BBC is doing a live blog on it will all the latest information.

If it’s not over soon it could have dire consequences for all sections of the economy, not least the music industry.

In the modern age where everyone gets information from and listens to music for free online, gigs are the lifeblood of the industry. They’re the real money earner for bands. And if European bands can’t fly to other countries and bands from other parts of the world can’t fly to Europe this could have effects that don’t bear thinking about.

So far The Eruption Disruption (that’s my next album title…) has effected the following:

  • 15th April – Metal Hammer’s Scandanavian Showcase featuring Sólstafir, Vried and Thunderstone in London. (Thunderstone played on their own in the end.)
  • 17th April – Paradise Lost’s gig in Malta had to be cancelled.
  • 18th April – US band Shrinebuilder cancelled their gig at the Scala, London.
  • Taking Dawn have been stranded in the UK unable to leave for the States.

Gary Numan, The Cribs and a couple of others had to pull out of the Coachella Festival at the weekend in the USA. Headliners Muse were already there so they were able to play. But look at the Download Festival line-up and imagine what would happen to it if bands from overseas couldn’t make it.

Ditto The Rage Factor, Sonisphere, Bloodstock, Slayer’s European tour, and basically most of this summer’s fun metal events.

Let’s hope Eyjafjallajökull stops pumping out ash soon!

UPDATE 22/04/10: Flights have started again, so it all looks good, but Arch Enemy’s tour has been postponed til November.