News March 2, 2020

NSW Parliament grasps music industry’s role in bushfire rebuild

NSW Parliament grasps music industry’s role in bushfire rebuild
5 Seconds of Summer at Fire Fight Australia by Jess Gleeson

NSW parliament officially acknowledged the Australian music industry’s significant role in bushfire rehabilitation, as well as those in the industry affected by it.

NSW shadow minister for music and the night-time economy, John Graham, last week pointed out to his parliamentary colleagues:

“One particular aspect that I want to put on record, which has not been referred to in the debate so far, is the impact on and the contribution of musicians in the state.

“I do so especially because many fire‑affected communities, especially on the South Coast — but it is also true of the north — are music communities.

“Many musicians lost much of their employment at what would have been the busiest time of year for them. Many of them lost homes, vans and equipment.

“Venues have also been impacted. Shows have been cancelled and there has been less work for staff.”

Graham estimated 100 regional shows were cancelled, with three venues destroyed.

He specifically pinpointed country music singer-songwriter Fanny Lumsden who had to cancel shows over the last three months and literally had to fight to save her farm in Tooma.

The Cobargo Folk Festival, scheduled for the weekend (Feb 29) is for the time replaced with a series of fundraisers for the local community.

On a national level, Graham also acknowledged how Support Act delivered up to $50,000 in instrument and music equipment replacement for needy musicians in NSW and Victoria, and APRA AMCOS waived fees for many venues.

He recognised Live Music Office’s detailed list of national music businesses that were affected, which services and councils they could get help from, and how business was further dropping off as tourist numbers to the areas dropped.

Graham also attended TEG’s Fire Fight Australia in Sydney with 75,000 others and, acclaiming the $9.5 million raised, recounted:

“A lot of people were out there to see Queen — the band got a pretty good reception — but I will tell you what got a better reception: The first mention of the RFS volunteers got the most remarkable reaction from the crowd.

“That really conveyed the depth of feeling from these ordinary citizens of NSW.”

In other bushfire relief news…

Bushfire

Photo by John Wardle

Fire and climate relief concert Down To Earth drew 12,100 to Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne and 670,000 through a YouTube livestream, raising about $1 million.

It was organised by Handsome Tours, Lemon Tree Music, Mirror Music Group, Arts Centre Melbourne, Habit Music and Space Mirror Merch.

Julia Stones Songs For Australia album, of international artists covering Australian songs, now has a release date: March 5 on digital services and CD/vinyl in June.

Parkway Drive’s GoFundMe, which they kicked of in late January with a donation of %50,000, has closed with a total of $129,544.

Creative Victoria has a dedicated support page and a new fund available for festival and events in regional areas in Victoria.

Melbourne music venue MEMO hosted a relief concert for Justin Brady, a former member of Things Of Stone And Wood, who lost his house and all his possessions in Mallacoota.

He’d just moved there from Melbourne two months before.

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