The government has urged the public to avoid all events of 500 people or more. Picture: SITG PR
The government has urged the public to avoid all events of 500 people or more. Picture: SITG PR

Music industry hit with $47 million in losses

Expanding restrictions on public gatherings have led to the Australian live music industry reporting a loss of $47 million.

The shocking stats were gathered by industry group I Lost My Gig Australia, who quickly put together a self-reporting website with the Australian Music Industry Network and Australian Festivals Association on Saturday.

Since launching Saturday, the total reported loss of income is $47 million, with 190,000 jobs lost due to 20,000 cancelled events.

In its first 24 hours, the group recorded $25 million in lost income from 10,468 cancelled events, as well as 84,000 lost jobs.

At this stage the long term impacts of such major disruption in the industry remains unclear, but Emily Collins from I Lost My Gig said "we know it's going to be pretty tough for people in the creative industries".

She said at this stage the group have heard of complete income loss from "artists, publicists, caterers, production crew, lighting designers, artist managers, tour managers, venue operators, front of house staff" and many more. She said these people had little certainty going forward of when this period of complete income loss was likely to end.

"With no current income, and no sign of when we'll all be able to start rebuilding things, there's very little certainty for people who have had their work cancelled," Ms Collins said.

 

Splendour In The Grass enjoyed a large and happy crowd in 2019. Picture: SITG PR
Splendour In The Grass enjoyed a large and happy crowd in 2019. Picture: SITG PR

The Federal Government announced on Friday that Australians should avoid all non-essential events of 500 people or more from today onwards as a way to try and control the spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus.

The move means sporting events, music festivals, concerts and large church services are not viable for as long as infection remains a public health risk.

Since then, Victoria has declared a state of emergency, banning all events of 500 or more. In NSW, the state Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he will look to implement powers to fine operators who do not cancel their events.

RELATED: Follow the latest coronavirus update

While many Aussies businesses are implementing work from home strategies, large music events are left with no option but to cancel. Ms Collins said due to the rapidly unfolding nature of the coronavirus pandemic "many people were not prepared for this at all".

On Monday, Mr Hazzard said he had made an order under the Public Health Act 2010 to force the immediate cancellation of public events with more than 500 people.

Individuals who don't cancel their events could face six months in prison, a fine of up to $11,000, or both, he said. Additional penalties could be imposed for each day the offence continues.

"Under the changes, which came into effect on Sunday, corporations face even harsher fines," Mr Hazzard said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said people should be careful and not take chances with their health and the health of others.

"Don't just think of yourself or your own family, but you could be unintentionally infecting and causing the death of so many other people," she said on Monday.

"We do know older people in particular are very vulnerable to this disease. "This is life and death."

She warned that people need to brace themselves as the number of cases in NSW continues to rise.

"I want everyone to brace themselves. It's not a time to be complacent or reckless or think that it's not going to affect you," she said.

With AAP


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