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You Need To Read Jen Cloher’s Devastating Post About The COVID Crisis & Its Impact On Musicians

Jen Cloher has shared a powerful and devastating statement on social media, summing up the mood of the Australian music industry right now.

In her post, the Melbourne singer-songwriter articulates the sense of hopelessness and ethical confusion experienced by so many in the sector as the Omicron death toll continues to rise, and the industry’s brittle bones are pummeled by yet another wave of gig cancellations after more than two years of next-to-no government support.

“I never thought I would have to grapple with the dilemma of community care vs paying the bills but here we are,” Cloher begins, continuing:

“Whilst the government would have us move on and pull a curtain across the backdrop of people dying, I can’t get with that program. Last week hospitals were in code brown, the week before our ambulance service in code red. People who are immunocompromised and/or living with chronic illness & disability haven’t left their houses since lockdown lifted.

School goes back next week but teachers are not considered close contacts, their wellbeing expendable. Get ready for another peak in cases! RATs have become a commodity with most unable to test whether that tickle in their throat is a cold or.. Meanwhile I’m watching the finest people in my industry teeter on the edge of going under. We are losing booking agents, managers, engineers and venues in droves – what will be left for those coming up?

It’s not a bad cold. Yesterday in Victoria 17 people died and of the 1000 in hospital, 119 were in ICU with 47 on ventilators. A friend who works in a Covid ward said most are unvaccinated. Here’s something I never expected – I feel for them. Even people who have been fooled into thinking Covid is a farce deserve to live.

This looks like the third year of not earning from a profession I have worked in for 20 years. At 0.004 of a cent per stream, Spotify doesn’t cut it unless you’re Taylor Swift & the capacity to earn from streaming live shows doesn’t put food on the table for smaller artists.

I will never condemn artists for taking a job. Most don’t have secure housing, live pay check to pay check and consider a holiday or owning a car a luxury. Nor am I disappearing those who are vulnerable by justifying my position through my industry’s ongoing hardship. I see you, you are valued. Many things can be true at once, including people’s needs.

What you may not see is the huge responsibility artists are carrying on their own (with no government support) when deciding whether to take a job. For those having sleepless nights trying to work out what’s best – RESPECT.”

A bunch of other high-profile Aussie artists have voiced their support for the statement, including Alice Skye, Mo’Ju, Claire Bowditch, Bec Sandridge, Adalita and more.

You can catch Jen Cloher performing at Yours & Owls this April, provided it, too, doesn’t get cancelled by COVID *smashes head against wood for luck*

 

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A post shared by Jen Cloher (@jencloher)

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