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Australian music industry issues ‘SOS’ to Government

Australian music industry issues ‘SOS’ to Government
June 10, 2020

More than 1,000 artists, businesses and other stakeholders from across the music community have signed an Open Letter, imploring the Australian Government to provide immediate - and meaningful - financial support for the industry as a result of its almost total closure as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.

Signatories include top artists such as Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham, Thelma Plum, Icehouse, Kate Miller-Heidke, Jessica Mauboy, Gotye, Alex Lahey, Jack River and Savage Garden along with Mushroom Group Chairman Michael Gudinski, music licensing body APRA AMCOS, the Australian Recording Industry Association and representatives of Universal Music, Warner Chappell and Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

“Australian music is a proud national asset that entertains, comforts, and uplifts our communities. It helps to define who we are as a nation, is a central pillar of our health and well-being and is a key driver of learning in schools. Our artists and industry are always there to come to the aid of our nation during a crisis. Now it is time for the nation to come to our aid.

“The Australian music sector fell off a cliff on 13th March when Government made the correct and prudent decision to shut the nation down. Without the ability for artists to play and venues to open around the country, the industry lost billions of dollars in revenue. It is estimated the box-office loss in relation to live music alone will be half a billion dollars over six months.”

The Open Letter has five key asks of the Australian Government, including the expansion of JobKeeper to artists and individuals who have been excluded, an extension of the scheme until at least the end of the year, direct business grants to ensure the survival of thousands of music businesses and venues, a boost to Australia Council funding and tax offsets and red-tape reduction for the sector.

The Open Letter goes on to say “while much of the economy starts to re-open, the ongoing restrictions on large gatherings means our industry will continue to be held back from returning to work. Without immediate government intervention, the Australian music sector will be hit twice as hard as the rest of the economy and thousands of jobs will be lost within months.

“The long-term cost to Treasury, the economy and the damage to our cultural infrastructure will be immense and long-lasting. Most of the four thousand plus venues that present live music across Australia are closed with no certainty as to when a restart is likely or viable.

“We are a highly skilled workforce with thousands of businesses that continuously adapts to technological change. We contribute $16 billion to the economy and we are an asset that is a lynchpin for the tourism and hospitality sectors and a powerful driver of metropolitan and regional economies and export to the world.

“Our industry is resilient, innovative and creative. We fight to stand on our own two feet and in normal circumstances we are self-sufficient. Yet these are not normal times, and we need the support of the Australian Government to help us get to the other side of this crisis.”

According to the I Lost My Gig website, concert cancellations and postponements across Australia and New Zealand have already cost more than $340 million, a figure that will keep growing as the lockdown continues.

Click here to read the Open Letter in full.

Image courtesy of Ticketek.

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4th April 2020 - LPA believes funding still not enough to prevent decimation of live performance industry

21st March 2020 - Australian music industry launches SOS campaign

11th March 2020 - Coronavirus fears impacting music festivals around the world with Coachella postponed and Tasmania’s Dark Mofo cancelled

16th June 2019 - Industry complaints sees Australian Competition and Consumer Commission demand music licensing reform

5th May 2018 - Music industry enjoys best year in current millennium

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