Over 60 live music venues in New South Wales have united as part of the Save Our Stages campaign, requesting urgent funding from the NSW Government to ensure the “ongoing survival” of the state’s live music industry.
Enmore Theatre, The Lansdowne Hotel, The Metro, Crowbar, Oxford Art Factory, The Red Rattler and Anita’s Theatre are some of the venues to lend their names to the campaign, which is calling on the Berejiklian government to work with MusicNSW and other industry representatives to deliver a targeted stimulus package.
Campaign organisers say that from a survey of 47 venues in the state, over $70million in earnings has been lost since coronavirus-related restrictions on mass gatherings were implemented back in March.
“Live music in NSW is under threat. Unless there is immediate government intervention, we risk losing 85 per cent of the state’s live music venues within the next 12 months. With the biggest music industry in the country, NSW is home to some of Australia’s greatest artists and performers, biggest crowds and world-class stages,” reads an open letter to the state government from the campaign’s representatives.
“Our music creates a sense of pride, gives us a voice, introduces us to new ideas, new friends, new hope. Live music is our lifeblood and our lifeline in times of crisis. But now live music in NSW is on the verge of collapse.
“Live performance is essential to an artist’s career development and makes up around 70 per cent of their music income. Without stages to play on, artistic careers in NSW will become almost impossible to maintain, and an industry which employs 23,000 people and contributes $3.6billion to NSW’s economy will crumble.”
The letter says the NSW Government “has yet to act” despite financial support for live venues being promised by state governments in Queensland and Victoria.
Over the weekend, the Victorian Government announced a $13million funding package for the state’s live music sector. The announcement arrived off the back of the similarly-styled Save Our Scenes campaign, which saw Victorian music venues band together to seek government intervention to protect the state’s live industry.
The Save Our Stages campaign’s organisers are asking NSW residents to show their support by signing their petition. You can do that, and find more information about the campaign, here.