Amidst this COVID-19 crisis, the staff of Music Victoria want to provide you with an update on our activities and to let you know that we’re here for you and we’re working behind the scenes and in the media to support our members and all affected in the music community by these devastating developments.

To implement social distancing measures, our staff have relocated to their respective home offices, but continue to work at pace.

A reminder that the current Federal Government directions are:

  • Non-essential gatherings of more than 100 people indoors banned
  • Non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people outdoors banned
  • Travel advice: do not fly for all international travel
  • People returning to Australia from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival

Essential definitions:
The following areas are exempt from the 100 person ban: airports, stations, platforms, stops, trains, trams, buses, medical and health service facilities, emergency service facilities, disability or aged care facilities, correctional facilities, youth justice centres or other places of custody, courts or tribunals, parliaments, food markets, supermarkets, grocery store, retail stores, shopping centres, office buildings, factories, construction sites, mining sites and other workplaces necessary for their normal operation.

Here’s some of the work we’ve been doing as the crisis has unfolded:

Advocacy:

– We are coordinating a national working group focused on developing a public campaign – a national initiative from a collective of bodies and organisations that represent our diverse music industry.

The campaign will encourage the music-loving public to support the local industry by:
· Continuing to buy music and merch
· Donating refunds to the event, venue or Support Act
· Sending messages of support to their favourite bands and venues

– We are holding weekly teleconference meetings with representatives from Victorian venues who have been hit extremely hard. We are also in process of setting up similar meetings with booking agents and other sectors of the industry.

– We are lobbying various levels of government to help support small businesses and limit their costs so they can keep their leases and liquor licenses.

– The office is communicating with each of our member groups separately and today has launched new Facebook group Victorian Music Industry COVID-19 Hub – a place for members and participants of the Victorian music sector to ask questions and share ideas amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Please join and contribute to the conversation.

Media:
– We’ve undertaken 7 interviews in the last 5 days on various ABC radio and TV, Triple M, The Age, Herald Sun and music sites detailing the impact on the sector and advising how the public can support music.

Federal lobbying:

– AMIN and AFA set up the I Lost my Gig website which received thousands of submissions detailing the impact on the live music sector. In addition to the $150 million recorded so far, which is predominantly from the small to medium sector, Live Performance Australia also estimates losses of approximately $200million a month in ticket sales.

– The Federal Government committed to delivering $22 million in live music grants at the last federal election, to be delivered from July 1 2020, and the industry is calling on the government to fast track them as hardship grants.

National working groups:

– The heads of the national organisations met with Federal Arts Minister Paul Fletcher this week and outlined the impact on the sector, emphasising that the first stimulus package does little to support a live music sector in shutdown. Live Performance Australia has lobbied the Government for an $850 million compensation package.

– We are lobbying the Federal Government for the $22 million live music package to be fast-tracked as emergency venue relief.

Resources:

– In light of the current (COVID-19) Coronavirus outbreak, Music Victoria has put together some useful resources for the Victorian music industry, which you can find here.

The word “unprecedented” has been used a lot this week, but this really is unchartered and unfathomable territory. We understand that our community is struggling, and we assure you that we’re working towards solutions as best and as quickly as we can.

A rare silver lining in this crisis is how the industry is working together to help each other get through the crisis.

We all know that music is going to help people’s well-being through this difficult and lonely period, and live music that will bring everyone together again when the crisis is over.

We can’t wait to hear some of the music that is written and recorded over the next six months. After all, Shakespeare reportedly wrote King Lear while in isolation from the plague.

Make sure you reach out to and support friends and colleagues and encourage anyone to call the 24 mental health line (https://supportact.org.au/wellbeinghelpline/

  • Support Act Wellbeing Helpline – 1800 959 500
  • Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
  • Lifeline – 13 11 14

We are all in this together, and we’re here for you.

Regards,
The Music Victoria team