How to support musicians and artists during the COVID-19 crisis
The impact of cancellations of public gatherings and events due to the COVID-19 pandemic is devastating for artists, performers, arts workers and business owners working in the arts and culture sector.
Almost overnight, thousands of people have lost an income and had their future income thrown into uncertainty. While we are lobbying government for financial support for individuals affected, a concrete plan/strategy from government has not been forthcoming.
But, arts and live-music lovers can make a difference. Here are some ways you can help support the artists you love who have lost an income.
Donate to Support Act
Support Act is Australia’s only charity delivering crisis relief services to music artists and music industry workers as a result of financial hardship, ill health, injury or mental health issues. Support Act have set up a COVID-19 Emergency Appeal as losses across the sector amount to well over $100 million and are rising daily.
Where possible, holding onto any tickets you might have purchased for events that have now been postponed, instead of requesting a refund, will help not only bands but venues, booking agents and so many more who work tirelessly behind the scenes. By keeping your ticket, you can help keep venues open and musicians paid – and then enjoys some live music once the restrictions have been lifted.
Tune in to ISOL-AID
A two-day FESTIVAL?!?! WHAT!?!? … from the comfort of your own home on Instagram Live.
ISOL-AID features two days of live streaming from 70+ musicians. 12 noon – 12 midnight Saturday 21st March and Sunday 22nd March. This Instagram live-streamed festival promotes unity and community while raising funds for Support Act.
Musicians will play live from bedrooms, lounge-rooms, studios or wherever they are self-isolating, in 20-minute sets streamed live on their Instagram accounts.
Check out the lineup here and follow #isolaidfestival on Instagram to watch it all back later.
Stream it live on the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall (MDCH)
MDCH is a social enterprise underpinned by a vibrant Melbourne music scene. With programming to showcase the full spectrum of Melbourne artists who have lost work due to COVID–19.
In the coming weeks, MDCH will be hosting a range of concerts and festivals online. Each will be performed once, at a set time, just like a regular recital and will be professionally streamed.
‘Seats’ will be sold online, with all ticket revenue going directly to the artists, thanks to the support of their partners.
MDCH will launch with an online music festival from March 27–29, featuring some of Melbourne’s leading musicians, with a plan to hold multiple concerts each weekend throughout the coming months.
Stay up to date here.
Listen to The Green Room Podcast
In a special episode of The Green Room podcast, host Neil Griffiths speaks with a number of key figures within the local music industry about the impact COVID-19 has had so far and will continue to have.
Stream the full episode on Spotify (here), Apple Podcasts or your favourite platform to listen to podcasts. It’s a great way to gain some insight into what the music industry is dealing with.
You can support artists by purchasing their music and merch direct from platforms like Bandcamp and from local retailers and record stores. You don’t even need to leave the house. Record stores Natural Selection, Wax Museum, Dutch Vinyl and Plug Seven Records all have online stores and need your support too.