The arts sector is taking a huge hit in the current lockdown, despite the good efforts of some individuals and organisations doing what they can to put on streaming concerts, Zoom concerts and the like.
With festivals and venues cancelling as well as travel bans, touring artists, who already often live week to week will lose their source of income through this pandemic and be among the most impacted.
Their one hope is their audience, and you are that audience.
What can you do??
First up, you can share your favourite artist’s page and videos. Doesn’t matter which form of social media you are signed up to, whether you have 10 followers or ten thousand, it will make a difference. If you are ultra-enthusiastic about one particular band or performer, you could do this more often than once. Use their online pics or your own.
Help maintain their income by buying their albums and other merch from the artist or their website rather than streaming.
Every purchase direct from an artist is 100% money in the bank; they’ve paid for them already.
Support local venues who are giving artists a place to play by going to see some live music. We’ve got a few down here doing this on a regular basis – Pistol Pete’s, the Piano Bar to name just a couple.
Support festivals who have had to cancel. This is utterly devastating for them too. Buy tickets for next year as soon as you can.
Down here we have a chance to help the longest continually operating blues music venue in Australia, The Blues Train.
They’ve just launched a big ‘sign up and win’ campaign, running through until International Blues Day (come on, you know that’s the first Saturday in August – 2nd of August this year!). You can go in the running to win a one of a kind Blues Train Guitar, valued at over $1000, when you sign up to become a Blues Train Member. Other prizes include Blues Train Double Passes valued at $270, and a Blues Train Merch Pack – Calico Bag, valued at $100. You can sign up here!
Pistol Pete has merch available, beanies currently, and is currently streaming twice weekly, on Friday and Saturday. The performers you all know and have supported in the past – Sarah Carroll, Shannon Bourne, Andrea and Heath Robertson, Kenny Miller, Fenn Wilson, Ethan Farmer, Rory Millar etc. You know where to go to check. Like many, he’s also doing on-line food ordering for pickup or delivery and he has a tips section and all tips are going to the musicians performing.
It’s a bit tragic looking at all the familiar venues who are suffering and have been forced to drop live music. All the scheduled gigs seem to stop in March or early April, and what follows is silence. Still, with the loosening up of the lockdown, those venues with a good outdoor section might be able to start or expand their live performances, and we look forward to that.
I can’t go without some words of farewell to Sweet Felicia, who is taking her bass back to Queensland. It’s been wonderful having you down here, and I really hope you’ll make it back from time to time.
Stay well all of you, and support the music in its hour of need.
Written by Dr John Lamp