San Cisco seek compensation from Queensland Government following NightQuarter closure

The venue was shut the night before San Cisco's sold-out show

San Cisco are calling on the Queensland Government to reimburse them for losses caused by the cancellation of a show on the Sunshine Coast.

As reported last week, the entertainment venue NightQuarter was ordered by Queensland Health and local police to shut down on Friday June 11, on the basis the venue posed “an unacceptable risk to public health”. The notice was reportedly served because authorities observed patrons dancing in their allocated seats.

San Cisco were due to perform at NightQuarter the following night (June 12), with all tickets to their headlining show sold out. A press release issued by the Fremantle band’s management today (June 15) notes the venue was given no right of reply or opportunity to enforce stronger restrictions in compliance with government protocol.

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Forced to cancel their gig as a result, San Cisco missed out on an expected gross revenue of $60,000. The band are seeking compensation from the state government for that amount in direct losses, costs incurred by transport, accommodation and wages for touring personnel, as well as potential losses caused by the current lack of a timeframe in which they can reschedule.

“As an independent band, like many others, San Cisco rely on live music as their primary source of income,” said Philip Stevens, from San Cisco’s management.

“The behaviour of patrons at the NightQuarter is no different to that experienced at sporting events around the state in the very same week. As of this point in time no cases of [COVID-19] have been attributed to gatherings of people at music concerts throughout Australia. So why are venues and concerts still being targeted by State governments as dangerous activities in comparison to major sporting events that are occurring every week?

“The arts industry is suffering, especially the hundreds of musicians who have no clear pathway forwards for their careers.”

San Cisco’s booking agent, Stephen Wade, supported the band in their endeavour to recoup their losses, citing a double standard imposed unfairly on the Australian arts industry. “The weekend’s actions have to stop and the over-policing of live music events needs to be addressed immediately,” he stated.

“We are still yet to see any documentation from QLD Health or any health department in Australia giving us an explanation as to why our events are deemed so dangerous to the health of the general public, and all we are asking for is a fair go, bearing in mind that there has still not been a single transmission of COVID-19 at a ticketed live music event in Australia.”

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Also impacted is Brisbane-based artist Jaguar Jonze, who is currently serving as the support act for all dates of San Cisco’s tour. She’s joined the band in their request for payment, saying: “The fact that we are struggling to play our contracted shows, even in our home state, shows how little support we are shown as active employers and participants in the economy.”

“QLD should be proud of the work we continually put in to bring live music to all parts of this state, and we expect the QLD government to make fairer assessments of the risks associated with live events and offer the same consideration to music events as they have shown to other industries.”

San Cisco are still on tour in support of their 2020 album ‘Between You And Me’, with dates remaining in Adelaide, Canberra, Newcastle, Torquay and Hobart.

The tour was already impacted by the recent lockdowns in Melbourne following a COVID-19 outbreak earlier this month, forcing them to postpone four shows. Catch the full list of upcoming dates below.

‘Between You And Me’ was released last September, and featured the singles ‘Reasons’, ‘Flaws’, ‘On The Line’ and ‘Messages’. As one of NME’s top picks for that month, writer Alex Gallagher called it “another satisfying step into their bright – occasionally maximalist – jangle-pop, ornamented as always by their sugary vocal harmonies”.

San Cisco’s remaining ‘Between You And Me’ tour dates are:

JUNE
Thursday 17 — Adelaide, The Gov*
Friday 18 — Canberra, UC Refectory*
Saturday 19 — Newcastle, NEX*

JULY
Friday 2 — Hobart, Goods Shed
Friday 16 – Fremantle, Freo Social
Saturday 17 – Northbridge, The Rechabite
Thursday 22 – Melbourne, Forum Theatre*
Friday 23 – Barwon Heads, Barwon Heads Hotel
Saturday 24 – Torquay, Torquay Hotel
Sunday 25 – Frankston, Pier Hotel

*indicates San Cisco will play an early and late show.

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