Kristian Birch Hurst: “COVID-19 - How can freelancers survive?”

Bart Dalton

We welcomed a phone interview with Kristian Birch Hurst last week where we spoke about managing your freelance business during the current crisis. Kristian is a key figure in supporting and developing the underground music scene in Birmingham. He is the founder of event brand ‘Voyage’ and performs as the DJ outfit ‘Trieste'; with residencies at renowned Digbeth Dining Club and performances at Boomtown and Reading.

“We’ve all been at the bottom and worked our way up; there’s no reason why you can’t do that again!”

What advice can you offer to freelancers on rebuilding your strategy in this current time?

“When there is an unprecedented time of struggle, I would definitely not feel bad doing a job that gives back to the community as a temporary measure. Supermarkets really struggle at the moment due to the increase demand of shoppers; they will need more delivery drivers and more shelf stackers. It would be very smart to have a side job going during this Covid-19 mess so you’re not flat out broke while you’re trying to be creative. If you think about the way you use your brain in percentages, if 80 percent of your brain is taken up by stress, you only have 20 percent to try and focus on creativity- it’s not enough, you need more than that to get your head straight and focus on new ideas. This is why I am emphasising to get something temporary that will help the Covid-19 situation and really give back to the community.”

What diversion tactics can freelancers adopt to mitigate further risk?

“I definitely think, especially at a time like this, when there is an unprecedented time of struggle, I would definitely not feel bad as a temporary measure finding at a job that gives back to the community. It may sound dead, but supermarkets really struggle at the moment because of the increased demand of shoppers, they will need more delivery drivers and more shelf stackers; it’s the same with things like Deliveroo, they need cyclists. It would be very smart if you can have a side job going during this Covid-19 mess so you’re not flat out broke on your arse while you’re trying to be creative. If you think about the way you use your brain in percentages if 80 per cent of your brain is taken up by stress, you only have 20 per cent to try and focus on creativity- it’s not enough, you need more than that to get your head straight and focus on new ideas. This is why I am emphasising to get something temporary that will help the COVID-19 situation so you feel like you’re giving back to the community. Really look at what the government and charities are offering; take advantage of the many channels as you can, obviously within reason, don’t flood the system and take it away from people who need it more than you. ”

What are the three key takeaways and action pointing that freelancers should consider during this time?

  • 1. Reset and take a step back; think about how you first started. We’ve all been at the bottom and worked our way up; there’s no reason why you can’t do that again.
  • 2. Re strategies! Get all your channels up to date and get all your branding looking smart.
  • 3. The third thing, role this out! Putting all your revised organisation into practice.


Subtle Speaks // Kristian Birch Hurst