Labor urges streaming services and commercial radio to support Australian artists through coronavirus crisis

A statement was issued by Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke today

Federal Labour Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke has written to streaming services and commercial radio outlets today (March 18) calling for additional support of Australian artists through the current coronavirus crisis.

As the live performance industry is severely affected by the ongoing coronavirus threat, Labor has called for media outlets to play and promote Australian artists “more than ever before”.

In letters to executives from streaming services and radio outlets, Burke urged them to consider promoting “Australian-only playlists” and “special hours of Australian-only music” respectively. He also asked them to consider “highlighting particular artists whose tours have been cancelled”.

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In a press release earlier today Burke said, “Australia’s arts and entertainment industry is on the brink of collapse and needs all the help it can get.

“The Morrison Government has to come up with a plan. If they don’t do something soon tens of thousands of people will lose their livelihoods. It’s not just artists and performers – it’s everyone who works behind the scenes to put on live entertainment.”

Burke’s statement went on to recommend several ways in which support can be offered.

“If you’re spending more time at home because you’re sick or self-isolating, please: stream Australian music; watch Australian movies and TV shows; read Australian books.

“If you’re getting a refund on a performance of an Australian artist consider using some of that the money to buy some merch, direct from the artist’s website.

“And if you’ve got some spare cash, consider donating to an organisation like Support Act, which helps artists doing it tough.”

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“Australian artists enrich our lives and our nation,” Burke concluded in his statement. “Whenever Australia faces a crisis, they’ve [artists] got our back – performing benefit concerts, raising money and lifting our spirits. Now, we need to have their back.”

The statement comes following a virtual roundtable convened by the Morrison Government yesterday (March 17) to discuss the impact of the global pandemic on the creative industries.

Yesterday, singer Kira Puru challenged radio stations to play more music by Australian artists, and Alex Lahey penned an open letter to the Victorian Premier urging support for the arts sector. On Monday, artist manager Charlotte Abroms launched a Facebook fundraiser for Support Act.

Countless festivals and tours have been cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak in Australia, with Splendour In The Grass and Groovin The Moo festivals the most recently affected.

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