Peking Duk have released a lengthy statement on social media condemning the Australian government’s “snail-paced” vaccine rollout and expressing dismay over the state of “uncertainty” of the music industry.
- READ MORE: Coronavirus: a 2021 guide to Australian festivals, concerts and tours affected by pandemic restrictions
The duo of Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles were scheduled to play a concert for Winter in the Domain in Sydney this weekend, but the show has been postponed. The band took to social media earlier today (July 6) to express their frustration over the wider circumstances surrounding the postponement. Read their full message at the very end of this story.
“It feels strange to be writing this 16 months into a worldwide pandemic, it feels strange to be writing this while the rest of the world seemingly returns to normal, holds events, travels freely,” the band opened their statement, “and yet Australia, who was leading the way with their response to Covid:19, is in yet another lockdown.”
Peking Duk explained that they understood the need for various lockdowns parts of the country went through in 2020, which they said “made sense”.
But, they continued, “In July 2021, with Australia firmly the worst performing country in the OECD for fully vaccinated adults, the music industry is facing more uncertainty, more cancellations, more postponements. America can have events, because 45% of their population is vaccinated. Australia with around 7% fully vaccinated cannot.”
According to NPR, around 47 per cent of the US population is fully vaccinated.
Australia’s federal government, Peking Duk wrote, “got it so horribly wrong and with their terrible planning, terrible rollout it brought more border closures, more lockdowns and less and less events, music festivals and a huge amount of uncertainty to the industry we love.”
They then went on to compare the treatment of live events in music industry to that of sports, a comparison that has previously been drawn and discussed by other artists (such as Spacey Jane) and music industry figures (such as Australian Festival Association general manager Julia Robinson and Yours & Owls Festival organiser Ben Tillman).
“It doesn’t have to be this way,” Peking Duk wrote. “Sport seems to be doing well – thousands of people were at Suncorp stadium in Brisbane while music venues in Melbourne (with zero covid cases) were left with no dancing policies and operating at hugely reduced capacities. When will live music be afforded the same luxury as other events?”
A rugby league game took place at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium over this past weekend (July 4) at 100 per cent capacity, following the city’s snap lockdown. Despite that, live music at the game was cancelled just one day prior.
“When will we get the green light from the government so that we can tell our crew who have been out of work since March 2020 that they can return to some form of normality,” Peking Duk wrote.
“We are left scratching our heads. Should we postpone our shows to the end of the year?Should we postpone them to next year? Will things even return to normal next year with this snail-paced vaccine roll out and ever evolving strains of the virus[?]
“The music industry wants answers, the entertainment industry needs answers or, unfortunately, more and more very talented musicians, very talented lighting designers, very talented sound engineers… will get tired of the uncertainty, they will move on to more secure jobs and the music industry might not ever be the same again.”
They concluded, “Because the federal government royally fucked this vaccine roll out, it means less gigs, less travel, more uncertainty.”
“Thanks for leading this convo guys,” River wrote. “Our industry is crippled, no communication from government, no income, no way to plan.”
Last month, Hockey Dad had to cut their first of three planned Brisbane shows short mid-performance, following the newly announced lockdown orders in their home state of NSW. The Windang duo then issued a statement calling out the “ever changing goal posts” put in place for the live music industry.
Read the full message by Peking Duk below: