Australian Music Industry Network chair says live entertainment workers aren’t supported by JobKeeper

"The support hasn't gone all the way through in the way it was intended to the creative industries"

Chair of the Australian Music Industry Network, Emily Collins, has weighed in on the JobKeeper scheme, highlighting how many workers from the live entertainment sector are not feeling supported.

On a segment for RN Drive yesterday (May 6) Collins points to a recent survey opened by AMIN which asks industry workers whether the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes are working in the way that was intended by the government. What Collins has found so far after contacting survey participants hasn’t been promising.

“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 told RN Drive.

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Collins’ concerns echo issues that were raised by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance prior to the JobKeeper legislation being passed. The union flagged that live entertainment workers, such as freelance musicians, casual bar staff and production crew, would be ineligible for JobKeeper payments back in April.

“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.

The Australian Music Industry Network is the organisation behind the ILostMyGig website, which has recorded at least $340million in lost income from workers in the live entertainment sector.

Collins, who is also Music NSW’s managing director, briefly touched on the return of music festivals, such as Falls Festival in December. She is convinced punters will be keen to head to festivals as soon as they are given the green light by state jurisdictions.

“The passion of music audiences mean that it’s very likely that people would absolutely go,” Collins said.

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A recent poll of 1,500 people, conducted by triple j, found more than half of respondents would attend a music festival before a COVID-19 vaccine was available. This was the opposite result to a Reuters poll which put the same question to 4,000 Americans.

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