News January 19, 2021

Bluesfest’s Peter Noble issues rallying cry for more support from media and government

Bluesfest’s Peter Noble issues rallying cry for more support from media and government

Music and festival director of Bluesfest, Peter Noble, has warned there will be more devastating job losses across the sector unless there is substantial intervention and support from the country’s governments.

His message comes soon after APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston pleased with the Federal Government to extend the JobKeeper wage subsidy to enable more businesses to stay afloat, and more workers to have an income.

Noble’s call, issued this afternoon to the industry, their families and fans, noted the sector’s issues are far from over, but said there needed to be more positivity and support across the board.

“We need to remain positive, uphold our industry, where you see negativity in any area, including media…gently remind that it is through supporting our industry that we will ALL do better in the end,” he said.

“Let’s push the music media to agitate on our behalf,” he added.

“It’s time to raise our voices…. we are the Live Arts…. and we love what we do, and we are a fundamental part of society… and it is unjust for government not to support us more than they have financially …simply by extending Job Keeper to those industries they have regulated not to be able to get back to work without major restrictions… the Industry, we will see many of our fellow workers be laid off when it end in March. How can that be justified on any level?”

He also took a thinly veiled swipe at companies, which take cuts of revenue at multiple stages of the process, particularly when patrons are seeking refunds. Where possible, he encouraged ticket holders to hang onto their tickets.

“Do you know that for each ticket refunded, there is a service charge from the ticket agency… up to $8? The show presenters , facing up to two years of no shows… is charged for this, after having paid staff to work on the show, bought advertising and paid a deposit to the artist which will be returned with costs deducted… this isn’t sustainable for our industry… and will result in less promoters and less shows..particularly in the indie area.”

Last year, Bluesfest revealed the economic loss it had endured from the festival’s cancellation, and subsequently detailed its plans for its 2021 show.

This year, however, a New South Wales tribunal ordered the Byron Bay-based festival pay $90,250.45 to stallholders from the cancelled 2o20 event.

Noble’s full statement is below.

To my friends in the music industry …. their families and those who love music.
As we are soon going into our second year, of little, or no gigs as a result of Covid ….
let us not forget what we need to do.
Let’s support each other… continue to check in and ask how we are doing.. be positive that a day is coming when we WILL get back to performing live, safely…. and do what we can to be a part of that wonderful day.
We need to remain positive, uphold our industry, where you see negativity in any area, including media…gently remind that it is through supporting our industry that we will ALL do better in the end.
Let’s not forget that although a large percentage of people have been able to get back to work …the industry, along with much of the hospitality and tourism industry hasn’t …. many of our favourite musicians and event company workers are on the dole, and suffering mental health issues. …
we need our media to report positively on us, and support the return of regularly in their reporting.
Let’s push the music media to agitate on our behalf.
We need government to find money to get us through this time, lots of it… we need them to Save Our Stages, as has been done in the US and across Europe through large grants, tax write offs and investment… and as well create a business interruption insurance policy to incentivise event presenters to put on events… and be protected in not going to the wall should an out break of Covid shut down their businesses at short notice… and protect that artists, crew and Suppliers will get paid should that occur… the did it more than six months ago for the Film Industry to get them back to making movies… why are we still waiting?
If you possibly can…please hold on to your tickets, as concerts and are RE-scheduled ….again.
Do you know that for each ticket refunded, there is a service charge from the ticket agency… up to $8?
The show presenters , facing up to two years of no shows… is charged for this, after having paid staff to work on the show, bought advertising and paid a deposit to the artist which will be returned with costs deducted… this isn’t sustainable for our industry… and will result in less promoters and less shows..particularly in the indie area.
Our issues haven’t gone away… they just aren’t being discussed regularly… and they aren’t being reported, as our industry …endures this marathon of waiting….and in so many cases not being able to wait any longer … and businesses closing, as well as very talented people leaving our industry.
It’s up to us to look out for each other and Live music….I know many of you are suffering in silence.
However, it’s time to raise our voices…. we are the Live Arts…. and we love what we do, and we are a fundamental part of society… and it is unjust for government not to support us more than they have financially …simply by extending Job Keeper to those industries they have regulated not to be able to get back to work without major restrictions… the Industry, we will see many of our fellow workers be laid off when it end in March. How can that be justified on any level.?
There is so much for us to do.
please feel free to share your ideas, as well as my post.
Let’s find the way to get back…..we can do this, and have each other’s back at the same time
Thank you
Peter Noble OAM
Bluesfest
Bluesfest Touring

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