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Venue restrictions killing live music

Oliver Peterson
Article image for Venue restrictions killing live music

The Australian Live Music Business Council has revealed unsustainable venue restrictions and continued uncertainty around border closures are having a devastating impact on the live music industry as it continues to struggle to recover from the pandemic.

The ALMBC is calling on State and Territory governments to work with the sector to ease damaging restrictions on venues while working together to implement a national essential worker permit system to resuscitate the touring circuit.

They fear without an urgent national response, hundreds of businesses will close and thousands of jobs will be lost in a matter of months.

Key findings from a recent member survey found restrictions on venue capacities present the greatest barrier to profitability, closely followed by the loss of wage support such as JobKeeper, interstate border closures and a lack of certainty and confidence across the industry.

Executive General Manager Craig Spann told Oliver Peterson there needs to a “bubble process” to get live music back on the road.

An example Mr Spann used was a band is picked up the airport, transported to the venue to perform and then straight back to their hotel with minimal contact.

“We just want to be able to deliver the best possible experience to the punters,” said Mr Spann.

He said that the recovery must be focussed on the thousands of venues across the country that not only provide platforms for artists to perform, but are the backbone of the industry – employing staff and crew while supporting a range of small to medium businesses.

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Oliver Peterson