How an Essential Worker Permit could get music back on the road
The Australian Live Music Business Council (ALMBC) is suggesting the Federal Government implement an Essential Live Music Industry Worker Permit for touring artists and their entourage.
The suggestion is part of a strategy to get live music back on the road, allowing tours to cross borders if state governments close them following an outbreak.
To get an Essential Live Music Industry Worker Permit, artists, crew and entourage go through a national standard application process. It remains in place indefinitely once approved.
If a border closure is triggered, artists will need to liaise with relevant local health authorities and adhere to clear guidelines to eliminate contact with the community.
The idea of artists being completely cut off from everybody else while at a festival or venue is seen as a key part of going on with the show.
The ALMBC has been stressing the urgency of keeping borders open during its talks with the Federal Government because 80% of a touring act’s shows are outside its home state.
“National tours have not been feasible since March last year”, ALMBC executive general manager Craig Spann said this morning.
“Snap lockdowns and wildly varied quarantine conditions have robbed the industry of confidence while also losing revenue and increasing costs – losses are significant and are putting our industry even further behind as we try to recover.
“Our hands are tied with policy preventing us from getting back to work supporting our employees and the thousands of small businesses that are integral to the industry.”
The ALMBC has also joined the chorus from associations and venue operators to increase venue capacity to 100% so they can be financially viable – particularly as the government has so far not committed itself to extending JobKeeper specifically for those in the entertainment field.
Spann said it was critical the industry is supported in getting back to business.
The ALMBC aims to act on behalf of the ‘backstage’ voices in the music industry, and represents about 28,000 employees at 488 businesses since its launch last July.
Members include agents, venues and small promoters through to ticketing companies, poster companies, media, publicists, food vendors, security, music technicians, crew and many more.