Australian Live Entertainment – The Ecosystem of Live Music Industry
Different industries were directly affected by the pandemic. When one field is down, it creates a ripple to all the relative businesses that operate around it. In Australia, despite its stability financially, many sectors are struggling to get back on their feet to survive. The live entertainment industry is facing a huge possible loss due to the rules implemented by the government. These rules are made to ensure everyone’s safety and to stop the spread of the virus. However, it greatly affects the live entertainment industry and is now making ways to continue operating whilst strategising and implementing protocols to abide by the government’s rules.
In New South Wales, only 500 people are allowed by the government to attend a seated outdoor music event. The Australian Festivals Association sees this move as a step in the right direction of bringing live entertainment back in the game. However, in this condition, the live entertainment industry still badly needs the government’s support.
The Lift of Outdoor Live Performances in NSW
The NSW government is slowly easing several restrictions in the field of live music performances. Live entertainment is now allowed to organise events as long as they abide by the safety protocols to ensure everybody’s safety. However, the live entertainment venues are the ones shouldering the disadvantages. They want the government to take some action and help the industry.
Last October 16th, hospitality venues in New South Wales will be allowed to have at most two people per two square meters. Additionally, twenty to five hundred people are now allowed to attend outdoor live music events at a ratio of one person per four square meters.
The keen focus of NSW’s government in containing the virus while slowly keeping every industry operating. Thus, certain restrictions and rules are implemented and a gradual increase in the number of audiences are instilled to ensure that every event is organised in a COVID-safe way.
The lift of live performances outdoor was the first step towards the gradual recovery of the live entertainment industry. Musicians who have been caving for months and in badly need of a chance to perform live are now in great relief.
The Challenges That The Music Industry Is Still Facing
The lift of a few restrictions was great news. However, the Australian Festivals Association found some challenges that the music industry is still struggling to overcome.
Music Tours and Insurance Inaccessibility
Touring and acquiring insurance coverages are viable requirements that aids in the stability of the industry. In consideration of the fact that the music industry was the first to get unplugged, it is also expected to be the last to go back to its full operation. Hence, the Live Entertainment Industry Forum strategised some measures that the government can implement to help the sector recover.
Live Entertainment Contribution to the Economy
In 2019, the live entertainment industry made a projected $36.4 billion contribution to Australia’s economy. But, with the pandemic still present in the atmosphere, a projected drop of 65% will be garnered making only an average of $12.8 billion. If such restrictions continue until the end of the year, a $23.6 billion loss will be imminent.
Job Loss in the Music Sector
Before the pandemic, an average of 120,000 full-time jobs is supported by the music sector. But, due to the current situation, two-thirds of 120k employees will be jobless. Only 40,000 Australians who work in the music industry will be able to keep their jobs. Music industry is not only musicians – there are plenty of people from different sectors involved – like logistics, catering and even security. John from Core Security Training says that not only the number of security guards working in the industry has been significantly reduced, but it also had an impact on the education sector as there are not that many people who want to become security guards and crowd controllers for.
The artist or the musician may be the heart of the industry, but, it is an interrelated niche that is made up of a wide range of people to operate. Internal and external factors that surround the industry will be greatly affected including the bartenders, nightlife entrepreneurs, crews, taxi drivers, hotel staff, and among other sectors that benefit from this industry. Hence, if the live entertainment venues are still struggling to operate, all the sectors that correlate to the live entertainment industry will still continue to endure the effects of the pandemic.
Change is inevitable during these difficult times. The continuous effort of the government in promoting safety is the foremost goal to end the pandemic. It may take a few more months or a year to fully lift all restrictions and welcome the new norm, but somehow, we are already living in the new norm.