Australia’s largest touring agencies rally government for financial relief in open letter

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Australia’s largest touring agencies rally government for financial relief in open letter

As detailed in The Music, the four touring heavyweights have pushed the Government to deliver $650 million to assist full time staff and subcontractors involved in the industry, revealing that they’ve lost an estimated six months of revenue due to the outbreak of COVID-19.


Although the agencies uphold their support behind the Federal Government’s ban of mass gatherings in the open letter, they also affirm the impacts the measures have had upon the “countless small companies, freelance operators, and specialised staff – sound, lighting, rigging, drivers, venue, security, trucking and catering companies – on whom our industry relies”.


You can read the letter in its entirety below. It’s not the only petition of its kind to pop up recently; last Thursday, over 100 arts bodies made a collective request for a $2 billion survival package to support the sector, while I Lost My Gig also called for $750 million to be injected into the industry on March 20.


“While we fully support the Government’s ban on mass gatherings from a public health perspective, the decision hit our businesses first and hit hard.


“Overnight we lost all revenue for at least the next six months. We also lost the money we had already spent on shows that can no longer proceed due to the ban. In addition to our own industry, our shows also extensively support the tourism, transport and hospitality industry across Australia. 


“As industry leaders we want to ensure the survival of the many small and medium-sized businesses that support our industry so that we can continue to make a significant contribution to the Australian economy when we eventually emerge from this crisis. 


“We would like to stress, this is not a letter asking for an industry package to support our own businesses, but for the businesses and the people that we are unable to support during this time.”


“Our events underpin related businesses, such as venues, catering and security companies, which employ thousands more staff in order to serve the 10 million fans that attend our events each year.


“In addition to the many small businesses we rely on to run our events, there are thousands of sole traders, from tour managers and production managers to drivers, who completely rely on us for a regular income. 


“Then there are the artists – the headliners and the support acts, the household names and the emerging artists – whose primary income comes from touring. Their ability to earn a living has been drastically compromised in this crisis.”


“Artists are keen to get back on the road as soon as they can. Touring and live performance is their biggest source of income and they have previously shown their willingness to step up to and help their fellow Australians in times of need,” the letter continues.


“It was only a matter of weeks before this crisis hit, that so many artists donated their time and energy put on shows to help raise much needed funds for bushfire recovery.


“Now they need the support of the Australian Government. More importantly, Australians are going to need live music and entertainment to help recover from this crisis.”


For more information or to seek assistance, visit Support Act.