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The nationwide shutdown of “non-essential” businesses has put Australia’s hospitality industry at unprecedented risk. And while venues are currently permitted to continue trading by offering takeaway and home delivery services, the last few days have proven that for many owners and operators – including some of the city’s largest hospitality conglomerates – adapting to the new restrictions simply isn’t viable. Profits have plummeted, staff members have been stood down and doors have been temporarily closed. As Time Out Sydney’s Food and Drink Editor Matty Hirsch wrote in a letter from the editor on Saturday, gestures like “purchasing a voucher or placing an order from your favourite venues are easy ways to make an immediate impact, but no number of takeaway meals or pre-batched cocktails will be long-term solutions. Political action is not just necessary – for many it is the only option.” In response, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), chaired by Time Out Australia’s Managing Director, Michael Rodrigues, has launched the Keep Our Venues Alive campaign, calling for government support for the hospitality sector. Take a moment to show your solidarity by signing the petition urging: Work with councils to suspend business rates on venues for at least three months Financial provision for all venue staff (including casual staff) and self-employed operators who cannot work for at least three months Tax relief for the hospitality, arts, culture and recreational sectors for
Staring at the same old walls can get pretty boring as we lean into months stuck indoors. So why not brighten up your life (and your living room) by scoring some world-class art while helping folks get through this trying time in the process? UNICEF Australia has assembled big-name Aussie and Chinese artists, asking them to contribute artworks to an online auction raising funds to tackle the global Covid-19 crisis. Called Love, Unmasked, it’s been organised by Vermilion Art and Bridging Hope Charity Foundation. The auction includes works by Caroline Rothwell and Tim Johnson, if you fancy nabbing yourself a piece that could just as easily hang in the National Gallery of Australia. “Art is about empathy, something to address the disaster as it unfolds and something that can also express the human spirit that survives,” Johnson says. “I was very glad to have the opportunity to add to the huge amount of support that’s surfacing.” Superstar Chinese artist Li Jin is also in the mix, though the current top bid for his admittedly gorgeous inked work is a tad out of reach for most of us: $79,000 at the time of publication. “This has been a momentous period, but nothing can stop the Spring flowers opening,” Li Jin says. “The world is full of hope and life carries on.” Debbie Mackinnon said of her offering, Beyond the Shadows, “It’s a message of hope that there will be light at the end of these dark times. I find getting out in nature, even for my daily walk in the park, helps too. My h
Self-isolating? Why not make it a little cuddlier? With many people across the country practicing social distancing and staying at home, TheLatch found out that the RSPCA is looking for Aussies to take on pets in need of a temporary home for around two to four weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fancy yourself a pet parent? Just contact your local RSPCA and you might be lucky enough to be matched with a companion to ride out all this new-found downtime with. But be prepared to take your new role seriously: pets who go through the foster care system need oodles of love and care. Some need high-level attention if they're recovering from a major operation or illness, like changing bandages and administering medication. Others are just too young to qualify for adoption or are too stressed out by the shelter environment. If you're down to lavish a temporary fur baby with love, there's no end to the kind of pet you could share your home with for the next little while: from cats and pups, to even chicks, duckings, goats and lambs. The last couple might not work in an inner-city terrace, but you get the idea – and just imagine introducing your new duckling to your colleagues via video conference. What if you want to make your commitment long-term? Fostering's great for temporary company during the pandemic, but the RSPCA also runs a regular adoption service where you can choose your companion online. Get browsing. Confused about the ins and outs of social distancing? Check out our
As we all adjust to the new normal of shutdown-life, sweaty nights moshing to live bands are likely to be a distant memory. But just because we’re all stuck at home in our Covid-19 isolation chambers shouldn't mean we can’t rock out to our favourite gigs. And we don’t just mean sticking your fave ‘live’ albums on high rotation. We’re talking about the real deal: live music in real-time. And that's exactly what you'll find at newly launched website, Sofa King Fest. It's a clever go-to international gig guide for all the live-streaming performances going off in a glorious no-surrender response to the pandemic shutdown from musicians. Confirmed artists set to feature so far include the legendary bandana-wearing country star Willie Nelson and hip hop supergroup Cypress Hill along with Melissa Etheridge, Big Freedia, Trombone Shorty, ATRAK, Tank and the Bangas and Triple Threat DJs. The Marys Group, Sydney’s hospitality champions of beastly burgers and live gigs, will be curating the Australian contingent of Sofa King Fest. Built and organised by a small army of volunteers from both the music and tech industries, it functions as both a listings and fundraising platform, connecting fans to their favourite bands in these crazy distancing days. “During these extraordinarily difficult times we wanted to do our part to help all the artists and crew members whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the massive festival and tour cancellations, and bar and club closures,” said R
For many of us, social distancing due to the coronavirus outbreak began in earnest this week, and there's a good chance you're already clawing at the curtains with cabin fever. So, if you needed some more encouragement to stay at home this weekend, this might be it – Isol-Aid is a cutting-edge virtual music fest bringing you twelve straight hours of bangers for two days, direct to your smartphone. In light of the huge (and growing) list of music festival cancellations as a result of COVID-19, Australian artists are banding together for this new, live-streamed event. A solid gold line-up of stellar Australian artists, including homegrown favourites like Stella Donnelly, Julia Jacklin and Angie McMahon, will each play a set for about 20 minutes on their Instagram accounts, and then tap in the next performer. It's on from noon to midnight on Saturday and Sunday March 21-22, so you can listen whenever from the comfort on your own home (or let's be honest, bed). The music industry is battling through a tough time at the moment, as the pandemic forces the cancellation of gigs and the closing of live music venues nation-wide. If you're tuning in, consider donating to Support Act, an organisation which raises money for those in the music industry who are facing financial difficulties and mental health issues as a result of the pandemic. So, support the Aussie acts you love and tune in over the weekend. Bonus: it's a non-creepy way to get a peek at what your favourite star's bedroom
In 2019, comic juggernaut Marvel ruled the world, raking in US$2.8 billion globally with their big-screen offering Avengers: Endgame. Capping two decades worth of storytelling in the MCU, it became one of the most-watched movies in history. Flash forward a year and the Covid-19 pandemic has managed what Thanos could not, by taking out the heroes we know and love. Both Black Widow and The New Mutants have been pulled from the release schedules as cinemas have shut worldwide. Production has also halted on the next installment of The Eternals. It's looking likely major competitor DC will further delay Wonder Woman 1984 too. But don’t despair. If you’re itching for some super-powered action, you can always go straight to the source. These 11 awesome comics are all available on Comixology, but make sure to check if your friendly neighbourhood comic shop is delivering – they’ll appreciate the business in these uncertain times. And yes, that was a Spiderman reference. RECOMMENDED: The 100 best horror movies you can stream right now.
With waves of folks let go from the hospitality industry in one fell swoop, it’s hard to look past those devastating headlines. But it’s not just our cafes, bars and restaurants that have shut up shop indefinitely. The arts are smarting too, with music venues, in particular, falling silent. Festivals and gigs have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. Venues and music rooms are shuttered with no concrete return date. Jobbing musos have seen their day gigs in hospitality, retail and the service industry disappear in a puff of hand sanitiser too as the lockdown kicks in. Still, musicians are a resourceful lot, and many have pivoted remarkably quickly to the notion of live-streaming gigs to a now-housebound audience. Isol-Aid, a two-day virtual festival organised by Melbourne artist Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt, was a recent example hosted on Instagram. Some 74 artists including Stella Donnelly, Angie McMahon, Didirri, and Julia Jacklin played 20-minute sets from their respective homes, tagging the next artist on the roster so fans could follow along. Isol-Aid is the biggest cyber-festival to take place since the virus outbreak, but many more of varying scales are sure to follow, with smaller sets already cropping up. On a global level, Sofa King Fest is aggregating live gig stream from around the world, with the likes of Willie Nelson, Melissa Etheridge, Cypress Hill, and more playing for homebound, and Mary’s Group curating the Australian contingent for the site. Locally, Sur
While the Covid-19 pandemic has us all cooped up in our own homes, keeping up social connection is more important than ever as we are forced to physically distance ourselves from others. But with the newscycle front of mind, stimulating conversations about just about anything else might not come so easily. Enter, ReFlex the Game. There’s never been a better time to get your hot little hands on a copy of this card game that is designed to engage your critical thinking skills and open up broader conversations. With questions like “What did you learn too late in life?” or “What’s your go to lie to avoid committing to plans you’ve made?” and the spicy “Do you think you are or can be seen as problematic?” ReFlex the Game is the brainchild of Sydney based slashie Flex Mami, a noted DJ, MTV host, and author. You can catch her encouraging critical thinking and imploring her followers to “facilitate your own nut” and take ownership of their sex lives (and lives at large) on Bobo and Flex, the podcast she co-hosts, and her Instagram page (where she also shares colourful DIY projects, fashion lewks, and a playful makeup approach that has been talked up by Jameela Jamil). View this post on Instagram Running out of things to do that don’t involve leaving the house? PLAY @REFLEXTHEGAME, FRIENDS 👀 A post shared by ReFlex The Game (@reflexthegame) on Mar 14, 2020 at 2:24am PDT “I made ReFlex to help us connect and build intimacy with each other by asking a series of ques
Talk about a buzzkill. First COVID-19 felled the Melbourne International Comedy Festival barely a week out from its opening and now the knock-on effect has also claimed the Sydney Comedy Festival, which has now also been scrapped. Events of all kinds have been cancelled or postponed this week, including massive cultural institutions like Vivid Sydney, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour and the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. However, unlike the last great pandemic – the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak – COVID-19 has hit in the 21st century, a time when online streaming services can deliver a universe of entertainment direct to our living rooms, without the need to interact with a single snotty human. While you won't be able to see them in the flesh for the time being, ten of the biggest names on Australia's stand-up circuit have just dropped comedy specials, streaming via Amazon Prime. The line-up of hilarious luminaries includes Zoë Coombs Marr, Judith Lucy, Celia Pacquola, Anne Edmonds, Tom Walker, Tommy Little, Lano and Woodley, Dilruk Jayasinha, Alice Fraser and Tom Gleeson. Two specials will be released every week starting Friday, April 10, filmed in Melbourne at Malthouse Theatre. You can pretend they’re performing just for you right here in Sydney without having to run the gauntlet of interstate travel in these crazy coronaviral days. Because goodness knows we need a chuckle or two right now. Wondering what else to stream? Check out our top picks of the best escapist movies current
The precautions being undertaken to stem the impact of COVID-19 have already started taking a sizeable hit to many sectors, not least of all the arts, events and music industries. The cancellation of festivals like Download and the regional Groovin’ the Moo has been upsetting for live music fans and the bands they love, but there’s many other creatives who are also being put out of work. The I Lost My Gig Australia website says that as of today, March 18, $150 million in lost income has been reported by small to medium businesses and independent contractors working in the creative industries. In a media release issued yesterday, it stated that the music industry is in crisis, estimating that 65,000 job opportunities have been lost and over 380,000 people have been impacted. These are numbers that are only likely to rise as social distancing and isolation measures continue to escalate. Freelance photographer, Jared Leibowitz, is one of the workers who has been left out of pocket. He has lost work with the festivals mentioned above, as well as a mix of gigs, artist photoshoots and commercial work. “While it's super important to be supportive of the artists that perform at these festivals and that entertain millions of people around the world by buying their merch and streaming their music, we need to ensure we also support the unsung heroes that work tirelessly behind the scenes to put it all together,” says Jared. “From the booking agents, to sound engineers, to photographers
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