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The present situation for live music in Victoria

Dear Members and the Music Community,

While many of you may already be across this (because you are so directly impacted by it), I am writing to clarify the present situation for Music in Victoria.

Firstly, New COVIDSafe Settings introduced on Friday 9th April have had little to no positive impact on our industry.

While the first line of the announcement may read that we are back to 100% of total capacity - the devil is in the detail.

  • The 1 person per 2 square metre rule still applies to most live music venues (non-seated), which equates to them operating at about 30% capacity.
  • Events or venues with over 1000 patrons are required to go through a separate approval process with the Public Events Framework.

We have communicated our industry's grave concerns around these restrictions to the Department of Health (DH), and disappointingly, they have not yet introduced any changes to remedy the situation. We are continuing to have these discussions with them, in order to bring about the changes our live industry needs to be operating at optimum levels.

We want to make the current situation clear to those inside the industry and to those who just care about music more generally.
We share your absolute and total frustration with the current situation and are working to do all that we can to make it change.

Our recent/current work includes:

  • Pursuing DH to change their guidelines and benchmark us against other states, and other industries and settings (across two meetings);
  • Exploring options under the Public Events Framework for all sized venues and events (not just those with capacities over 1000);
  • Meeting with Ministers and Advisors from Health, Creative Industries, Small Business, Employment, Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation;
  • Presenting at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Impact of Covid-19 on Events and Tourism (yesterday – a transcript will be available);
  • Making a submission to the above Inquiry (read it here);
  • Ongoing communication with Creative Victoria;
  • Speaking with the media to raise the profile of our concerns and to counter the perception of ‘trading as usual’;
  • Fielding many emails and phone calls across the sector – hearing your stories first-hand, and sharing these with government.

Here's how you can help:

  • We would encourage those of you who follow our online presence simply because you love music – to speak to your local members (choose your electorate in the dropdown to find out who they are) and share your experiences and concerns for the current live music situation.
  • Make your own submission to the Inquiry into the Impact of Covid-19 on Events and Tourism (due tomorrow) here.
  • Continue to give us your feedback and experiences so we can keep passing this on to the government.
  • You can also help music workers, crew, and musicians by donating to Support Act here.
  • And finally, please continue to support your local musicians, venues, festivals and industry – the hard times are far from over.

We're in this together and we're fighting for you.

Simone Schinkel (CEO) and the team at Music Victoria