If you’re anything like me, 2021 has you sighing in relief and happiness as you fill up your calendar with multiple gigs and festivals to make up for last year’s live music deficiency. Unfortunately however, Australia’s music industry is still in dire straits as we quickly approach the looming end of JobKeeper in March, with creative professionals desperately calling on the Australian Government for help.
A new survey of the creative and live entertainment industries from I Lost My Gig Australia (ILMG) has revealed some alarming data about the devastating consequences that small businesses and sole traders in the music industry will face when JobKeeper assistance ends on 31 March.
The survey data follows this week’s open letter to the Federal Government which saw over 3,500 musicians and workers in the industry call for an extension of JobKeeper or a specific wage subsidy to be continued beyond March for people who work in music and live events.
The ILMG survey, which attracted more than 1500 responses, provides an evidence base that reinforces the industry’s calls for continued support. Key findings suggest that more than 50% of businesses will close after 31 March and that Australia is set to lose two-thirds of its creative gig workers (many of whom are highly experienced technical workers in the live sector) at the end of March.
I Lost My Gig Australia was first established on 14 March last year as a data-capture initiative from the Australian Festivals Association (AFA) and the Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN). The initial survey aimed to track the impacts of COVID-19 on the music and creative industries and revealed a devastating $345 million in lost income in the first two months of the pandemic.
Almost one year on, this latest data demonstrates that the industry is still not out of the woods. Although shows are slowly coming back, they remain under tight restrictions and business activity is currently not sustainable, even before we consider the very real possibility of further lockdowns and border closures. With the safety of workers and patrons of the upmost importance, it is imperative that the industry is able to endure the necessary restrictions and precautions, which is why continued Federal Government support is vital.
The devastating ramifications of losing the creative and live music industries would be felt on a huge national scale and we at LivewireAU wholeheartedly support the plea to the Federal Government for an extension of JobKeeper and will continue to keep you updated on any progress.
Find the full summary from the latest ILMG data here.
If you or someone you know needs support, there is help available:
Support Act Helpline: 1800 959 500
Lifeline Hotline: 13 11 14 or text their helpline on 0477 13 11 14