On Friday 27 March, members of the Australian music industry launched a new campaign promoting key safety messages in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.
The campaign – titled Stayin’ Alive – has seen artists like Flume, Midnight Oil, The Presets, Vera Blue, Dune Rats and many more posting the same message across their social media accounts.
It reads as follows: “this message is for everyone. Stay at home. Act as if you have COVID-19. This will save lives.”
In addition to staying at home, artists are urging other health practices like hand washing and social distancing. People are encouraged to follow relevant hashtags: #stayinalive, #washyourhands, #keepyourdistance and #slowthespread.
Kate Miller Heidke captioned her post, “this is the most important thing we can do right now.” Stella Donnelly said, “this photo is the only thing we should be passing on” and Skegss claimed, “it’s annoying having to do this shit when the government is dropping the ball.” To which Alex The Astronaut commented, “agreed.”
Stoner rock outfit Dune Rats followed up their Stayin’ Alive message with a post renaming themselves ‘Dettol Rats,’ a tribute to the British cleaning product brand. The message ‘stay home, pull cones’ was featured next to a cartoon of the trio as rats, holding hand sanitiser and toilet paper.
According to the team behind Stayin’ Alive, “the music industry has a powerful singular voice that speaks directly to millions of people, many of whom are not paying attention to the most important messages about what to do in this crisis.
“As one of the hardest hit sectors by COVID-19 (current estimates of lost income sit at $316 million, a figure that likely to increase dramatically as time goes on), artists and their teams are particularly motivated to do their part.”
This figure comes from ILostMyGig.net.au, a site that has been quantifying lost income from all members of the Australian music industry, since Saturday, March 14.
As of Sunday, March 29, ILostMyGig.net.au has recorded upwards of $316 million in losses, as submitted to their site by musicians and artist managers, production and tech crews, venue workers, booking and ticketing agencies, marketing and promotion companies, music press outlets and other sole traders.
This $316 million income loss comes after the current coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of public gatherings and the closure of non-essential businesses, including live music venues, pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants.
On Thursday, March 26, NME reported a group of over 100 Australian arts organisations had sent an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, advocating for “urgent” targeted stimulus of over $2 billion. Morrison is yet to respond.
Read more about what concerts and events have been affected here.