Accento (Arts News)

Australian musicians rally together on a path to recovery

Hundreds of individuals and organisations from the Australian music industry have signed an open letter to the Australian Government calling for industry-specific support to ensure the sector’s survival.

In an official statement on 2 June, The Honorable Tony Burke mentioned that “[…] the government appears to have finally opened the door for a rescue package. Hopefully there’s meaningful support on the way. It would be a cruel hoax to raise expectations and then let people down.”

The music industry’s open letter implores the government to provide music-industry-specific support through five key points:

  1. Extend JobKeeper for the music and broader entertainment sector beyond September to ensure the skilled workers, businesses and venues remain viable until trade is realistic
  2. Expand JobKeeper to those artists and workers in our industry who work gig-to-gig and contract to contract
  3. Establish a specific $40 million Australian Music Recovery Fund in partnership with state and territory governments, and as part of a broader $345 million live performance industry recovery package, to catalyse Australian music nationally and ensure the sustainability of music businesses, service providers and venues over the next twelve months
  4. Boost Australia Council funding with $70 million across all artforms to ensure individual artists including musicians and songwriters can access grants as part of the cultural recovery
  5. Commit to reducing red-tape and incentivising the sector with a rebatable tax offset for live music to support long term rebuild and sustainability for venues and touring, provide an immediate rebate on existing alcohol excise and wine equalisation tax to support the recovery of venues, and introduce rebates for the recording of Australian music
credit @apraamcos

The open letter has already garnered the support of professional rock, pop, and classical music artists. The likes of Tina Arena, Savage Garden, Eskimo Joe, Jimmy Barnes, Deborah Conway, and John Farnham have signed along with noteworthy music organisations such as Australian Music Centre (AMC), Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), and Music SA.

credit @Tony_Burke

The music industry’s open letter complements the Support for Australian Arts and Entertainment Workers petition which can be signed here until 8 July 2020.

Should you wish to add your name to this open letter, contact APRA AMCOS. You can read the full letter here.

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