Music and Hospitality Sectors Call for Urgent Support

The livelihoods of musicians, songwriters and those that work in the live music and hospitality sectors must be considered as part of the Australian Government’s response to the worsening COVID-19 crisis, a coalition of music industry organisations and hospitality groups have said.

From local pubs, hotels and clubs to major concert arenas, festivals and arts centres, there are over 4000 live music venues across the nation. Each of these venues is a workplace for musicians and the thousands of hospitality workers who derive an income from a thriving live entertainment economy.

The economic stimulus package for households and business announced by the Australian Government yesterday is to be welcomed. However, as the impact of the COVID-19 crisis continues to worsen and with risk advice likely on large public gatherings, the Federal and State governments must work with the sector to ensure the small businesses, musicians and workers in this sector remain viable.

The coalition includes APRA AMCOS, ARIA, Australian Hotels Association, PPCA, Live Performance Australia, Australian Music Industry Network, Australian Festivals Association, AIR, Australian Artist Managers and the Live Music Office. The live music, festivals, events and hospitality sector are integral to the nation’s tourism industry, bringing economic and community wellbeing to towns, city centres and regions across the country.

Each year, APRA AMCOS distributes on average over $10 million each year to local artists for the performance of their songs at live concerts and live music events. The potential loss of this income will represent a huge blow if live events are further disrupted.

Australian hotels employ more than 250,000 people and host over 300,000 nights of live entertainment annually. Live Performance Australia data found that in 2017 over 23 million Australians attended live events with over $1.88 billion generated through ticket sales.

In the short term, live events and the hospitality sector should be part of any stimulus or grants package. In the longer term, government needs to consider a broad-based approach, such as a tax offset, to ensure the live music and performance sector can revive and recover from events of the last twelve months.

The coalition also call on all levels of government to ensure that the bushfire, flood and drought recovery work continues to get live venues and live events back on their feet in the impacted regions. This will be critical not just for community spirit but to help encourage tourism, visitation and spend.

The coalition will work together to support the music ecosystem over this difficult period, to ensure the health and well-being of our artists, managers, promoters, hospitality workers and the broader industry.

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