$340million in lost income recorded across the live entertainment sector

More than 650,000 people have been affected

Survey results published by I Lost My Gig, the website launched by the Australian Festivals Association and Australian Music Industry Network to record income loss, have illustrated how much the live entertainment sector has been impacted during the coronavirus pandemic.

The first survey, launched in mid-March, received responses from 12,624 participants across all states and territories. The data snapshot recorded $339,932,285 in lost income from 296,000 opportunities, affecting 650,000 people. Of the sum, $132million in loss was recorded in New South Wales and $121million was recorded in Victoria.

Data from the first survey has been used by industry groups, arts organisations, local councils and academics to lobby the Federal Government for a range of stimulus packages, ranging between $650million and upwards of $2billion.

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I Lost My Gig survey infographic
CREDIT: I Lost My Gig (supplied).

A second survey was then set up in early May regarding JobKeeper and JobSeeker, which received responses from 1,432 Australians. Of the respondents, 96 per cent of sole traders and small businesses are expecting losses beyond September, which is when the JobKeeper scheme is expected to end.

Fifty-eight per cent of survey respondents applied for JobKeeper. Of those, just under a third of them were successful in their JobKeeper application, with 57 per cent unsure of their outcome at the time of being surveyed. Common reasons JobKeeper applications were rejected included being unable to prove loss of income or being employed for fewer than 12 months. The 12-month employment criterion, in particular, was highlighted by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance back in April as an issue that could render entertainment workers ineligible.

The results of this second survey were referenced by Australian Music Industry Network chair Emily Collins during an interview with RN Drive earlier this month.

“Sadly, some of the results we’re hearing is the support hasn’t gone all the way through in the way it was intended to the creative industries,” she said.

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“More troubling is what happens in September when we see JobKeeper go away and JobSeeker reduce in how much it is. What’s happening in September is going to be a really interesting point in our industry,” Collins said.

View the results of both surveys here.

Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures that recorded a slow in unemployment in the arts and recreation sector. In the seven-week period between March 14 and May 2, the ABS reported 19 per cent of arts workers had lost their jobs. This figure was 27 per cent in the five-week period between March 14 and April 18.

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