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News August 2, 2021

‘How long can we last?’ New survey paints dire picture of devastation facing live music sector

‘How long can we last?’ New survey paints dire picture of devastation facing live music sector

A new survey from I Lost My Gig has revealed that Australia’s live music industry has haemorrhaged up to $64 million in revenue over the past month due to the impacts of the pandemic.

The survey found that no less than 23,100 live events had been canceled since July 1, 2021, with the cancellations directly impacting 23,657 employees and equating to a reported loss of $16 million per week for the sector.

The survey also showed that a staggering 99% of events impacted had no income protection or were ineligible for event cancellation insurance, with a mere 7% of respondents answering that they had been able to operate as normal since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

Perhaps more alarmingly, 60% of survey respondents said that they’ve recently sought out work in other industries as a means of staying afloat financially, while 35% are pursuing professional opportunities overseas due to the delayed reopening of the Australian sector.

Furthermore, a significant portion of workers surveyed said that they were ineligible for Government support, with 67% unable to receive the Federal Disaster payment and 25% ineligible for state funding. 50% of respondents were also unclear as to whether they could apply or not.

Hannah Crofts, a Melbourne musician who performs with All Our Exes Live In Texas and Baby Velvet, said that the latest round of lockdowns had hit Australian artists the hardest.

“What the general public, and the Government, don’t realise is that I don’t just lose work for the weeks we are in lockdown but the devastating ricochet effect it has on my career the following days, weeks and months,” Crofts said.

“All but one of my shows have been canceled for the remainder of the year – it’s crushing both professionally and financially and hard for all musicians around me to see a path forward.”

ARIA and PPCA CEO, Annabelle Herd, told The Music Network that the data proved more Government support is desperately needed.

“This starts with more money to cover the cost of postponing shows, and must include measures to bring back confidence, Federal and State Governments underwriting some of the risk associated with staging performances in order to persuade promoters to plan shows over the next six to 12 months. Consistency in border rules and capacity limits will also help, as will flexibility in quarantine for international touring parties – giving our local artists opportunities to support world-class tours, supporting the next generation of Aussie artists,” she said.

After launching in March of 2020, I Lost My Gig initially reported $345 million in lost income within the first two months of the pandemic last year, with the latest survey suggesting that the industry is no closer to making a full recovery under current circumstances.


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