A large array of music venues in Victoria have called for “urgent” state government assistance in order to save venues “on the brink of collapse in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns”, sharing a petition addressed to Victorian Parliament.
Venues including 170 Russell, Cherry Bar, Corner Hotel, Prince Bandroom, Croxton Bandroom, The Espy, The Forum, The Tote, The Gasometer and many more have signed the open letter to state government as part of the ‘Save Our Scene’ campaign.
“Victoria’s famous music scene is on the brink of collapse and there’s no relief in sight. We are calling on the Victorian Government to step in and save our proud music culture by preserving the venues where artists play,” reads the letter.
“Live music means mass gatherings, so it will be many months before our state’s music venues can safely reopen our doors at viable capacities. In the meantime, our venues are being crippled by mounting debt including rent, mortgage payments, bills and insurance. Without Government intervention, many of the venues you love will be forced to close their doors permanently.”
Organisers are asking the Victorian Government to work with Music Victoria to “develop a package of needs-based financial assistance” to protect small-to-medium music venues “until they are able to trade sustainably”.
They are also asking for “a clear and balanced roadmap to reopening at full capacity” and “a fund to support the relaunching of our industry when COVID restrictions are lifted.”
You can sign the petition here via the Save our Scene website.
Image: Nikki Williams