COVID-19 has been a right kick in the balls and our music industry is still suffering into the third year of this fuck-off pandemic!
I caught up with a buddy of mine yesterday, a prominent Australian sound engineer and he looked me in the eye and said "Ant, I'm struggling". He continued to describe how he has resorted to physical labour to make sure he and his wife can pay the bills.
It is still pretty grim out there right now and my heart breaks for the countless number of musicians and artists that are losing gigs, income and their livelihood. As per I Lost My Gig Australia, since the COVID-19 pandemic has surfaced, hundreds of thousands of gigs have been cancelled. This equates to hundreds of millions in lost income for musicians and artists.
The key to supporting the creatives industry right now lies beyond the containment of COVID-19 and it is upon you, me and every single lover of music and art to ensure that creatives can return to a state of economic stability.
How? The music industry has historically banded together to donate time and money to those in need and now we need the Australian music-loving public to do the same!
Here are some ways that we can collectively play our part to ensure that our creative artists make it through to the other side of this pandemic:
If you are in a financial position to do so, please donate to SUPPORTACT! which is a music charity that provides crisis relief services to artists, roadies and music workers who are directly affected during this time.
We, the tax guys, will be more than happy to remind you of the tax deduction available to you on your donation come tax time later this year.
2. Rock Out!
Keep streaming and buying Australian music and merchandise!
If need be, respect the current social-distancing provisions and instead make your purchases directly from artist websites, through local record stores (online), Bandcamp, Patreon or via your favourite streaming services.
As soon as that postponed gig is back on, you take your ass there and you rock the fuck out!
3. Spread the Love Far and Wide!
Contact every major radio station AND your local radio stations and ask them to play your favourite Australian artists!
4. Get Political!
Write a letter to you local Member of Parliament and express your concerns for the continuity of the creative arts industries. Offer some suggestions and remind them of their Duty to represent every single Australian in this time of economic uncertainty.
5. Be That Crazy Fan!
Message your favourite musician and tell them you love them and how their songs have changed your life.
Offer moral support and show them that you are grateful for what they do. If you want to kick it up a notch you can even “pay it forward” and buy a gift voucher for your favourite artist at their choice of rehearsal or recording studio.
6. Hang Onto Tickets for Rescheduled Gigs!
We sincerely encourage you to hang onto your tickets for any rescheduled gigs or events.
By keeping your ticket, you are keeping money in the industry when it is most needed! It also means that the artists and promoters will not have to start their marketing campaign all over again therefore saving money and resources promoting the shows again in future.
If your ticket provider has already issued an automatic refund for any cancelled or rescheduled shows, consider donating all or a portion of that refund to SUPPORTACT.
It is up to us to ensure that the artists and the industry are ready for when the shows go on again!
The support that we can provide to the music industry today will be repaid with songs, art, community and passion for what makes our scene so damned incredible to begin with!