With the NSW music scene on the brink of collapse, 61 independent live music venues have joined together to launch an online petition calling on the NSW Government to provide immediate support to save the state’s live music industry.
“The Queensland and Victorian Governments have committed millions of dollars in support to their venues, we now look to the NSW Government to show their support,” said Mark Gerber, CEO and Founder of the Oxford Art Factory.
“Without NSW Government intervention, many of our favourite venues will soon be forced to close and with them, tens of thousands of jobs will be lost.”
The petition 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.
A package that will support the artists and communities who depend on live music for their existence, safeguard the future of the industry, and save our stages.
“If supported to survive, the NSW live music industry will be able to quickly reboot a vast network of jobs and ancillary businesses, rebuild communities and restore the social confidence crucial to a dynamic economy,” continued Gerber.
The petition follows months of stringent COVID safety measures and social distancing restrictions which have led the venues to operate under reduced capacities and with higher staff overheads.
For an industry that operates on a very lean profit model, this has proved devastating, with many venues now facing the possibility of permanent closure before the end of the financial year.
“Live music v enues help to bring people together and provide an essential space for music, culture and community to flourish,” said Tyla Dombroski, Co-Owner of Crowbar Sydney. “We must do everything we can to protect and save our local venues before they disappear forever.”
The venues calling for support include The Enmore Theatre, the North Wollongong Hotel, The Concourse in Chatswood, the Smokey Horse in Braidwood, the Star Court Theatre in Lismore, the Wagga Wagga Boat Club and the New England Hotel in Armidale.
For more information and to sign the petition to help protect local music venues, support artists and save live music in NSW, visit: www.sosnsw.org for details.
Image: Oxford Art Factory – photo by Jack Toohey