Greater than 3,500 music business artists, staff, venues and companies have signed an Open Letter to the Australian Authorities calling for it to increase the JobKeeper subsidy or present direct business help to 1000’s of susceptible staff.

One of many ghost lights put in by the Sydney Opera Home in every of its theatres throughout COVID-19 in 2020. {Photograph} © Daniel Boud

The music and dwell leisure industries have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas dwell efficiency was shut down for most of final yr, live shows and exhibits proceed to function in an unsure atmosphere of snap border closures and lockdowns. Current weeks have seen the delayed opening of the Perth Competition, cancelled live shows for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and a postponed opening night time for Victorian Opera’s The Sleeping Magnificence.

New figures from music rights organisation APRA AMCOS present dwell music alone is working at below 4 p.c of pre-COVID ranges, whereas a current examine performed by RMIT of the music sector in Victoria revealed 58 p.c of respondents are contemplating leaving the business.

“Every time there may be one other COVID-19 cluster or a quarantine breach, any plans to commerce once more are halted. Musicians, sole merchants, venues, golf equipment, festivals, music companies and the business stay out of labor. Billions of {dollars} for hospitality and tourism generated from Australian music stays stifled. We’re an business in disaster,” the Open Letter says. “We applaud the work of native, state and federal authorities, in addition to the group and acknowledge the state of affairs in Australia is far totally different to most nations all over the world. However Australia stays in a cycle of lockdowns and border closures to maintain on high of the insidious COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Extending JobKeeper, or offering an business particular wage subsidy package deal, will maintain the present on the street. This doesn’t simply make cultural sense, it makes financial sense. The humanities and leisure sector contributes round $15 billion per yr in GDP, using near 200,000 highly-skilled Australians. Australia Institute analysis has discovered that for each million {dollars} in turnover, arts and leisure produce 9 jobs whereas the development business solely produces round 1 job,” the letter says.

The letter has been signed by musicians together with Katie Noonan and Heather Shannon, musicians and music professionals from bands like Boy & Bear, Chilly Chisel, The Cat Empire, The Dwelling Finish, Regurgitator and Spiderbait, in addition to individuals working with organisations together with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Artwork Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, The Metropolitan Orchestra, Darwin Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Recital Centre, Music Australia, Tall Poppies Data, Symphony Companies Australia and Limelight Arts Media, publishers of Limelight.

“The complete arts ecosystem is on a cliff edge, a lot in order that the termination of the JobKeeper complement on the finish of this month might be disastrous for the long-term restoration and vitality of the artistic industries,” says Limelight’s Basic Supervisor Cara Anderson. “The humanities wants a tailor-made federal response which helps all tiers of the business and recognises the financial influence it contributes annually to the GDP.”

CEO of Symphony Companies Australia Kate Lidbetter advised Limelight that her organisation is collaborating intently with arts peak our bodies together with Reside Efficiency Australia, APRA AMCOS and theatre firms. “We’re all pretty aligned in our request to authorities for JobKeeper to be prolonged,” she stated. “I’d hope that Symphony Companies Australia would be capable to coordinate some form of a presence in Canberra within the first half of this yr – whether or not that’s a bodily presence or whether or not we do it by Zoom. We did an occasion of that sort very early final yr earlier than COVID and that included a fairly wide selection of classical music organisations so we might hope to have the ability to do one thing related, maybe otherwise.”

The Open Letter factors out that the lack for the music business to commerce has a direct knock-on impact on the hospitality and tourism industries – and due to this fact the financial system as a complete – throughout Australia. “Each dwell music venue and pageant in a metropolis, city centre or regional space is a part of an intricate community that helps our business. Sitting behind these venues and occasions is a military of musicians, managers, brokers, promoters, crew, technicians, music academics and lots of different business professionals,” the Open Letter says. “We will’t afford to lose the abilities and companies of our business. The consequence for Australian music and dwell leisure can be catastrophic.”

The humanities on a cliff edge: The termination of the JobKeeper complement on the finish of this month might be disastrous for the humanities

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