Artists and crew from NSW and Victoria continue to endure weeks of tough lockdowns in Australia, as arts industry operators suffer their long wait to return to work when restrictions ease.
The ongoing COVID pandemic in Australia has continued to provide ‘no respite’ for musicians and crew according to classical guitarist Nicolas Serray, who have suffered significant financial strain since the beginning of restrictions eighteen months ago.
Serray is one of several artists during the pandemic that has launched their own fundraising initiative to generate financial support for musicians. In this case, an online recital to raise funds for Australia’s crisis relief charity for musicians and crew, Support Act.
‘I thought it was really important, particularly during this second lockdown, to do what I could to support my fellow musicians. I’ve had so many mates who have been out of the game for some time, and some, sadly, that have left the arts completely.’ Nicolas Serray
In July, The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work released its ‘Creativity In Crisis’ report that compiled sobering findings for the Australian arts industry.
The report, commissioned by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) suggested that an ‘exodus’ of hospitality workers has occurred and that much anecdotal evidence suggests that this is ‘also happening in the arts’.
According to the ABS, overall employment across arts and entertainment related sectors dropped 18% in the first three months of pandemic restrictions, with over 32% of that figure arising from creative and performing arts job losses. In February 2021, there were 228,000 people employed in arts and entertainment.
With similar restrictions currently in place and the industry experiencing a repeat of the 2020 shutdown, Serray remarked, ‘I really hope that Support Act’s awesome work in delivering crisis support will keep more musicians supported for now so that they remain in the industry and put on great shows when we can head back to venues.’
Support Act CEO, Clive Miller said ‘Everyone in the music industry is doing it especially tough right now, so any help we can give is very gratefully received. Over the past 16 months, we’re delighted to have been able to commit $23.8m in COVID-19 Crisis Relief Grants to more than 10,000 music workers in need, which is only possible thanks to support from the Australian Government, the music industry and people like Nicolas who are willing to raise much-needed funds for our community.’
‘It’s wonderful to see an artist like Nicolas creating an event that not only raises much-needed funds but gives people something to look forward to and an opportunity to see live music, albeit online.’
‘We’re very grateful to anyone who is raising funds for Support Act to allow us to continue to support those in the music industry who are doing it tough’, said Miller.
Support Act are currently providing means-tested, once-off crisis support payments of $2,000 for musicians ($2,700 for families with dependants) to assist with expenses such as mortgage repayments or rent, food, bills and other essential goods and services.
Nicolas Serray has already well-exceeded his initial target of $500 and is thrilled with the generous response from donors.
The live recital will be streamed on YouTube on Sunday, 26 September 2021 at 2PM: Details here
Watch the teaser…
‘I just hope that this helps some artists right now in some small way to get through this incredibly tough time.’
All donations go directly to Support Act and all donations over $2 are tax-deductible in Australia.