The NSW Government has announced an Event Saver Fund to support organisers of major events and festivals that have been cancelled or significantly disrupted due to COVID Public Health Orders.
Two years into the pandemic, the live music industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy, and this is just the first step in ensuring that the industry survives the latest wave.
The announcement today from the NSW Government to support organisers of major events and festivals that have been cancelled or significantly disrupted by COVID Public Health Orders is a crucial first step to support the live music industry in NSW.
“The music industry has been devastated once again by the COVID-19 pandemic and new health orders banning singing and dancing in NSW have effectively shut down our industry once again,” said Dean Ormston, CEO APRA AMCOS.
“The announcement by the NSW Government to establish an Event Saver Fund is an important first step in ensuring that the live music industry in NSW can survive this latest wave.
“However, we urge the NSW Government to also provide direct support to the artists, sole traders and small to medium businesses through a wage subsidy program, crisis support through Support Act and micro-business grants.
“The music industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy and was the first to be shut down by the necessary regulations to deal with the health crisis facing the nation. We are now approaching our third year of devastation.
“The picture across much of the country isn’t much better with APRA AMCOS data showing that live music activity in December, the traditional peak season for the industry, was at 6 per cent of the pre-COVID period.
“We also urge the NSW Government to establish better protocols around health orders that directly affect our industry and the thousands whose livelihoods rely on its economic activity.
“Approaching the third year of the pandemic, we urgently need the NSW Department of Health to develop more sophisticated guidelines including vaccine mandates and mask wearing instead of the blunt instrument of ‘no singing and no dancing’ restrictions.
“It is ridiculous that live music patrons can sing and dance at a pub or festival in Wodonga or Coolangatta, but can’t a few kilometres away in Albury or Tweed Heads.
“The music industry has always abided by the health orders across the seven jurisdictions of the country but without some consistency across the jurisdictions and a better understanding of our ecosystem, we are at risk of losing valuable cultural infrastructure and the thousands of jobs that are supported by live music across the hospitality and tourism industries.
“Research shows that live music provides $16 billion worth of economic, cultural and social benefit to the nation, with every dollar spent on live music providing three dollars’ worth of benefits returned to the wider community,” Ormston said.