Support Act launches $20m COVID-19 emergency appeal
Urgent financial aid is needed but government leaders are dragging the chain.
As the music industry grapples with how to function in a COVID-19 world, thousands of our peers around the country won’t make rent next week.
People in the live music and entertainment industries have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with reported losses surpassing $100 million and rising.
Thousands of jobs have already been lost in recent weeks as a result of the cancellation of concerts, festivals, tours and shows.
The vast majority of these workers are independent contractors who don’t have the luxury of sick leave or annual leave. Most live paycheck to paycheck.
On Thursday (March 20) it launched the COVID19 Emergency Appeal with an aggressive fundraising goal of $20 million, kickstarted with a $100k contribution from its reserves.
The charity is committed to doing what it can to help those in need but admitted its resources are limited, and the clock is ticking.
Since launching the appeal, $107,283 has been raised from 78 donations.
Support Act says it’s been “inundated with requests for crisis relief” from artists, crew, management, promoters, agents, vendors, publicists, merchandisers, drivers, loaders, riggers and everyone else who relied on the live events business.
These are good people, all of whom have gone from having a busy calendar over the coming months to suddenly having no way to pay their bills.
Support Act’s Mental Health Helpline, which provides free a counselling to the industry, is also reporting a surge in calls.
“We need to go out and build ourselves a war chest,” chief executive Clive Miller told TMN.
“We need to get support from the government, we need to rally the troops, we need to reach the wider music-loving community to see if we can’t get them to give the love back to the music industry which has so generously provided to others (the bushfire victims) in recent months.
“Many of those who’ve lost their jobs still have mortgages and children to look after. They don’t have sick leave, annual leave or redundancy packages. The scale of this is just so enormous.”
If you or someone you know requires help, please contact Support Act on 1800 959 500 or text the Lifeline helpline on 0477 13 11 14.