An ongoing survey conducted by I Lost My Gig reports that Australia’s live entertainment industry is losing an average $16million in potential revenue each week, totalling $64million since the start of July.
I Lost My Gig Australia – an initiative of the Australian Festivals Association (AFA) and Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN) – was launched in March of 2020 “to quantify the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Australia’s live event and entertainment industries”. For its latest findings, I Lost My Gig reportedly surveyed a total of 1,892 industry professionals.
Of that sample, only seven per cent said they’d been able to return to pre-COVID business practices. 60 per cent said they’d explored work in other industries, while 35 per cent said they were seeking opportunities for work overseas.
The data shows that in the year spanning July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, a total of 82,983 gigs were cancelled across Australia. Of those, 23,100 were cancelled since the start of this July.
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Melbourne artist Hannah Crofts – a member of the bands All Our Exes Live In Texas and Baby Velvet – said all but one of her upcoming performances for the year (that being the Byron Bay Bluesfest, scheduled for October) had been cancelled.
“After 16 months of cancelled gigs and reduced capacity-shows, this latest round of lockdown has truly hit the hardest,” Crofts shared in a statement.
“What the general public, and the government, don’t realise is that I don’t just lose work for the weeks we are in lockdown but the devastating ricochet effect it has on my career the following days, weeks and months. It’s crushing both professionally and financially and hard for all musicians around me to see a path forward.”
Only one per cent of the survey’s respondents said their insurance covered losses caused by pandemic-incurred restrictions and uncertainties. Approximately a third of respondents said they met the criteria to claim Federal Disaster payments. Half said they were unsure if they were eligible to receive funding from state packages, while 16 per cent said they were and 25 per cent said they weren’t.
“Cafes and restaurants can operate at 20-30 [per cent] capacity through lockdowns by opening for takeaway. Our business can’t do takeaway,” said Phil English of Showcall Crewing. “Lockdowns cause an unsustainable domino effect on bookings. We even pivoted to crewing reality TV shows, and now that’s also gone in NSW.
“We need continued support for the industry, or there will be nothing left to save.”
I Lost My Gig Australia is still accepting responses to its survey, which can be found on its website. According to a press release announcing today’s (July 29) numbers, it plans to share updated data on a weekly basis.