Support Act has announced a COVID-19 Emergency Appeal with a $20 million target for Australian music industry workers who have lost income to the pandemic.
Support Act is a crisis relief charity fund for artists, crew and music workers, established in 1998. The fund has been the recipient and facilitator of a few independently organised fundraisers for the Australian music industry amidst coronavirus pandemic thus far, namely those organised by Angie McMahon’s manager Charlotte Abroms and Ne Oblivscaris singer Tim Charles.
Support Act has contributed $100,000 from its own reserves to kickstart the fund on its way to its $20 million target. Over $3,000 in additional donations have been made to the appeal, at the time of writing. In a press release issued this afternoon, the charity said it has been flooded with crisis requests in recent days.
“Support Act is already being inundated with requests for crisis relief from people who have gone from having seemingly secure income over the coming months to suddenly having no way to pay their bills. Our Mental Health Helpline which provides free counselling to those in need is also reporting a surge in calls,” it said.
“Many of the people who find themselves in this position are the same artists, crew and music workers who donated their time and talent to support others by staging benefit shows following the bushfire crisis just a few months ago.”
The charity also urged the government to expedite access to key government welfare programs such as the Newstart Jobseeking Allowance.
“We hope they will recognise the special needs of this vulnerable section of the community and provide cash support to our campaign and to the broader entertainment sector,” they said.
The fund intends to distribute money through financial grants, which is how Support Act functions. Music industry workers eligible for grants from the fund include, but are not limited to: musicians (bands and/or individual musicians), artist managers, sound & lighting engineers, tour managers, merch sellers, roadies, drum/guitar techs & other crew members, tour/event promoters, venue bookers/promoters and publicists.