As the live music industry fights to get back on its feet, a collective of more than 70 venues from around New South Wales are urging for the government to snap into action to save the industry from collapse – and they’re calling on the public’s help.
As Time Out reported, Save Our Stages NSW launched a petition in September to the NSW Legislative Assembly, requesting urgent financial assistance to save live music infrastructure in NSW. The petition gained more than 20,000 signatures in 30 hours, which qualified it to be debated in parliament – however, no date has yet been set for the debate.
Without immediate action, Save Our Stages says more venues will be forced to close. The collective is calling on the NSW government to work with MusicNSW and industry representatives to devise a stimulus package that will ensure the ongoing survival of live music venues.
Save Our Stages is asking the public to help urge the government into immediate action by sending a letter to their local member of parliament (MP), and they’ve made it quick and hassle-free for you to do so. All you have to do is visit sosnsw.org/letter-to-mp, select your local area, and send an auto-generated email to your MP. The letter will also be forwarded to the NSW Legislative Assembly, the NSW treasurer and the NSW deputy premier.
According to a MusicNSW survey conducted before the petition was launched, out of 47 city entertainment venues, 85 per cent predicted they'd go out of business within six to nine months if current trading conditions persisted. While public health and safety measures like physical distancing are necessary, limited venue capacities mean that the already very lean profit model of the live music industry is being exasperated.
While the state government’s Great Southern Nights initiative, which kicked off this week, is bringing more than 1,000 gigs to venues across Sydney and NSW (and you can do your part by buying tickets), venues are continuing to accumulate hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and Save Our Stages says more needs to be done to safeguard the future of the industry.
Find out more about Save Our Stages NSW and see the full list of venues behind the movement at sosnsw.org.