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Survey finds workers considering leaving the Victorian music industry

Survey finds workers considering leaving the Victorian music industry
February 16, 2021

A new study examining the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the Victorian music sector found that 58% of respondents are considering leaving the industry.

Commissioned by the Victorian Music Development Office (VMDO) and the Victorian Office for Women and undertaken by RMIT University, the study - Understanding Challenges to the Victorian Music Industry During COVID-19 - suggests that a significant consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic will be the likely significant loss of talent from the Victorian music sector.

Commenting on the findings, VMDO General Manager, Katie Stewart, explained “throughout the pandemic many music workers found themselves doing unpaid work and also found it difficult to stay connected to industry peers.”

Other insights from the study found that:

• 80% of respondents said their involvement in the industry would be different post-COVID-19 
• 74% of respondents said their income had decreased 
• 57% of respondents were worried about paying for basics like rent and food 
• 44% of respondents lost all their music-related work during the pandemic (those in full-time employment dropped from 34% to 7%) 

Explaining the results, Doctor Catherine Strong from RMIT University, noted “the survey also highlights that the pandemic has exacerbated and continued some already-existing problems within the Victorian music industry, including income security, discrimination and elitism as well as issues linked to location and demographics.

“However, the consequences of the pandemic also enhanced some positive aspects for the sector, including greater community-mindedness, innovation, creativity and a commitment to music-making.”

Survey respondents were also asked what they would like to see changed as the industry recovers and reopens. 

Key aspirations resulting from this question included: 

• Improved working conditions - better pay and hours, improved access to benefits and more job security; 
• Changing the culture of the industry - increasing inclusion and addressing discrimination (sexual, gendered and racial) as well as shifting the focus to shared values rather than profits; 
• Maintaining external industry support - government grants and programs as well increased funding the VMDO and Music Victoria; and 
• Continued recognition for the sector - highlighting the outstanding skills and an industry that demonstrates economic and social benefits.

During the pandemic, the Victorian Government has provided close to $25 million in dedicated support to the Victorian music industry. This has included funding to support artists and acts, music industry workers and organisations, events and live music venues.

Click here to view the survey results is available on the VMDO website.

Related Articles

16th December 2020 - Coronavirus halted booming year for Australia’s live music sector

23rd October 2020 - Survey shows over 400 Australian Live Music Businesses face imminent closure

20th September 2020 - Live music venues to benefit industry from $13 million Victorian Government support package

11th August 2020 - Federal Government announces guidelines on live music restart funding

3rd August 2020 - Applications open for inaugural Great Southern Nights music event

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

31st May 2020 - Melbourne Music Week set to return in November

21st May 2020 - FOMO music festival enters liquidation with $5 million owing

21st March 2020 - Australian music industry launches SOS campaign

14th October 2020 - Live entertainment industry counts the cost of COVID

12th June 2020 - Live Entertainment Industry Forum welcomes potential easing of restrictions on outdoor sport and entertainment venues

16th April 2020 - ABS survey shows ‘arts and recreation’ businesses as being hardest hit by Coronavirus pandemic

16th December 2020 - New advisory group aims to strengthen performing arts touring network

25th November 2020 - Victorian 2020/21 Budget allocates $1.46 billion for Arts Precinct transformation

13th November 2020 - Backing councils will help Australia’s arts and cultural sector to ‘flourish’

11th November 2020 - Art experience promoter slams Governments for not releasing committed arts funding

10th November 2020 - Victorian Arts and Cultural centres to transform into COVIDSafe venues for festivals and events

30th October 2020 - More than 80% of Federal arts rescue package remains unallocated

13th October 2020 - Research shows impact of COVID-19 on arts and creative sector workers’ mental health

1st September 2020 - Lendlease appointed as builder for next stage of Geelong Arts Centre Redevelopment

1st September 2020 - Parliamentary Inquiry into benefits and impact of arts during Coronavirus

3rd August 2020 - Australian Major Performing Arts Group to make way for new unified advocacy body


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