Over 60 independent venues in New South Wales have joined together to launch an online petition calling for urgent financial support from the state’s government to ensure the “ongoing survival” of its live music industry following months of coronavirus-related social distancing regulations.
The Save Our Stages campaign sees venues including the Enmore Theatre, Oxford Arts Factory, Crowbar, The Metro, The Lansdowne and more calling for the NSW government to work with MusicNSW and other industry representatives to come up with a stimulus package to support recovery and longevity for the spaces, artists and communities who depend on live music.
The campaign is similar in nature to the Save Our Scenes campaign, where a wide variety of Victorian music venues came together to request government assistance. Last week weekend, the Victorian Government announced a $13 million funding package for the state’s live music sector.
“The Queensland and Victorian Governments have committed millions of dollars in support to their venues, we now look to the NSW Government to show their support,” commented Oxford Art Factory founder Mark Gerber.
“Without NSW Government intervention, many of our favourite venues will soon be forced to close and with them, tens of thousands of jobs will be lost.”
Indeed, the campaign’s organisers point to a recent survey of 47 music venues in the state, who reported over $70 million in earnings has been lost in the six months since the pandemic-related lockdown measures. Organisers say that without immediate government intervention, the state risks losing 85% of its live music venues within the next 12 months.
Tyla Dombroski, co-owner of Crowbar in Leichhardt, emphasised the vital role venues play in bringing people together. “Live music venues help to bring people together and provide an essential space for music, culture and community to flourish,” Dombroski explained. “We must do everything we can to protect and save our local venues before they disappear forever.”
You can show your support by singing the Save Our Stages campaign’s petition here.