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Australian music industry launches SOS campaign

Australian music industry launches SOS campaign
March 21, 2020

Advising that the hard-working people who provide the soundtrack to Australian life need immediate help, the Music Industry Taskforce has launched Sound Of Silence (SOS), an initiative representing Australia's diverse music industry "to bring immediate relief for an industry at the existential brink".

With measures to contain the Coronavirus seeing an almost immediate halt to all live musis over the past week, the campaign aims to alleviate what it calls "the severe hemorrhaging of income that has come with widespread cancellations of festivals, concerts, shows and local gigs" through a raft of targeted activity.

Information announcing the launch of the campaign advises "the music industry and those at its peripheries cannot survive without an alternative source of revenue that has disappeared along with live shows, a figure that has literally gone from 100 to zero in under a week.

"The workers in our industry live from gig to gig. Shows are their lifeblood and it will take more than the containment of COVID19 to return them to economic stability. The ramifications are far-reaching and seriously long-term.

"The music industry has historically banded together to donate time and money to those in need, as seen recently with bushfire relief efforts – it is always there to lend a helping hand. Now it needs the Australian music-loving public to do the same.

"This is a real and present crisis, and this is a very real SOS.

"If we don’t act now the soundtrack to Aussie life will stop and all we will hear is the sound of silence."

Maggie Collins, artist manager for DZ Deathrays/Morning Belle, commented "this is a rally cry, a call to arms – the support that the music industry receives now will be repaid with art, community, and passion for what makes our scene so special.

"We will be back, and we need to ensure the artists and industry are ready for when the shows go on again.”

Clive Miller, Chief Execuitve of Support Act, added “artist crew and music workers are facing a bleak and uncertain future and are also some of the most vulnerable with regards to mental wellbeing. Please help us to support our music workers through this difficult period and help them be in a position to bounce back louder and prouder than ever once the pandemic has passed.”

The initiative calls for:

• People to visit www.thesoundofsilence.com.au and if they are in a financial position to do so, to donate to Support Act – which is a music charity that provides crisis relief services to artists, roadies and music workers who are directly affected during this time.
• In the absence of touring, merchandise is the most instant investment for any artists' career. People can visit any number of the artists stores directly through the store links on the SOS online superstore, or create an equally lasting connection by purchasing the Sound Of Silence, special custom tee designed by Jack Irvine (Billie Eilish, Skeggs) with all proceeds going to Support Act. 
• Consider donating refunds for cancelled shows or a portion of refunds to the venue or Support Act via Sound of Silence (SOS).
• Hang onto tickets for rescheduled dates. By keeping ticket, funds are kept in the industry when it is most needed. It also means the artists don’t have to start their marketing campaign all over again therefore saving money and resources in promoting the shows.
• Keep streaming and buying Australian music and merchandise – directly from artist websites, through local record stores (online), Bandcamp, Patreon or via streaming services - Spotify and Apple.
• Spread the word - contact a preferred radio station and ask them to play afavourite Australian artists or write a letter to a local MP.
• Message favourite musician or venue and offer moral support. Or ‘Pay It Forward’ and buy a gift voucher for a favourite artist at their favorite rehearsal, recording or production studio.
• If you know any workers affected by the recent event cancellations and postponements, check that they are aware of I Lost My Gig. The latest figures compiled by ilostmygig.net.au (ILMG) continue the alarming trend in lost income for the creative industries. Reported losses now top $200 million reported in just 5 days while reported people directly affected in the industry sits at over 400,000.
• And most importantly, when we are able to gather en masse again and share in the power of the live experience, please buy tickets to gigs and go and see your favourite acts.
For more information go to www.thesoundofsilence.com.au, #soundofsilenceau

The Music Industry Taskforce consists of: 

• AAM - Association of Artist Managers
• ABC - Australian Broadcasting Corporation
• AEG Presents
• AFA - Australian Festival Association
• Apple
• AIR - Australian Independent Record Labels Association
• AMIN - Australian Music Industry Network
• AMPAL
• APRA AMCOS - Australian Performing Rights Association
• Architects of Entertainment
• ARIA - Australian Recording Industry Association
• ATSI Music Office
• Bar Open
• Bolster
• Chugg Entertainment
• Comes With Fries
• CrewCare
• EMC - Electronic Music Conference
• Ferris Davies PRM
• Frontier Touring
• Illusive Presents
• Jonathan Seidler 
• Live Music Office
• Live Nation
• LPA - Live Performance Australia
• Morning Belle
• Moshtix
• Mushroom Group
• Music ACT
• Music Australia
• Music NSW
• Music NT
• Music SA
• Music Tasmania
• Music Victoria
• Nova Entertainment
• PPCA
• Q Music
• Secret Sounds
• Select Music
• SGC Music
• Sounds Australia
• Spotify
• Support Act
• TEG
• Ticketek
• Ticketmaster
• triple j
• UNIFIED Music Group
• VMDO - Victorian Music Development Office
• WAM - West Australian Music

Top image courtesy of Ticketek. Sound of Silence infographic by Mushroom.

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