‘Suffering in silence’: Bluesfest boss’ cry for help
The boss of one of Australia's biggest music festivals has called for people to work together to save the music industry.
Bluesfest director Peter Noble issued a heartfelt plea via social media, saying it was time for action as the country goes into its second year of little or no live gigs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said it had been a "marathon of waiting", but many businesses had been forced to close down and "very talented people" were leaving the industry.
"Many of our favourite musicians and event company workers are on the dole, and suffering mental health issues," Mr Noble wrote.
"I know many of you are suffering in silence.
"However, it's time to raise our voices.
"We are the live arts and we love what we do, and we are a fundamental part of society.
"Let us not forget what we need to do.
"Let's support each other... continue to check in and ask how we are doing.
"Be positive that a day is coming when we will get back to performing live, safely, and do what we can to be a part of that wonderful day.
"We need to remain positive, uphold our industry. Where you see negativity ... gently remind that it is through supporting our industry that we will all do better in the end."
But Mr Noble wasn't just speaking out to complain about the state of the music industry.
He also had some ideas.
He called on the government to "find money, lots of it" to get musicians through the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We need them to Save Our Stages, as has been done in the US and across Europe through large grants, tax write offs and investment, and as well create a business interruption insurance policy to incentivise event presenters to put on events, and be protected in not going to the wall should an outbreak of COVID shut down their businesses at short notice.
"Protect that artists, crew and suppliers will get paid should that occur.
"If you possibly can, please hold on to your tickets, as concerts and events are rescheduled again.