On Saturday (14th March), a website called I Lost My Gig was set up, encouraging performers, technical workers, hospitality staff and others involved in the performing arts industries to share their stories about the way the necessary recent cancellations of gigs in Australia has affected them.
Yesterday, the organisation revealed that, so far, with the cancellation of over 10,000 events as a result of both coronavirus concerns and the summer bushfire crisis, the reported lost income has reached $25 million, a figure that’s expected to grow.
In the post, I Lost My Gig say industry organisations will be coming together this coming week to discuss strategies for supporting freelancers, artists and micro-businesses, many of whom have been left vulnerable in the wake of emergency, along with methods for supporting significant employers in the creative industries.
“Our thoughts go out to those who have been let go, or who are unwell or have family and friends struggling during this difficult time. Reach out for help, and offer help to those around you. We’re all in this together. Again, thanks for telling your story, and your trust in us. We’re doing everything we can to help. Hang in there.”
Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison officially advised that from today, all non-essential public gatherings over 500 people should be cancelled in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Yesterday it was reported that Live Performance Australia, as part of a newly-formed coalition of music organisations that includes APRA AMCOS and ARIA, had called on the government for an urgent emergency industry support package in response to the loss of potentially thousands of jobs and huge financial hits across the live performance field.
“In the short term, live events and the hospitality sector should be part of any stimulus or grants package,” reads part of a statement from the coalition.
“In the longer term, government needs to consider a broad-based approach, such as a tax offset, to ensure the live music and performance sector can revive and recover from events of the last 12 months.”
As many have acknowledged, over the past few months Australia’s music industry has stood together to raise millions of dollars in bushfire relief and recovery. In fact, artists are typically who we turn to to raise funds during times of crisis. Now, that same industry is facing crisis itself, with a vulnerable demographic that needs support.