Operators in Australian live music industry warn of further job cuts

Operators in Australian live music industry warn of further job cuts
With several industries severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, Australia’s live music industry is no exception. Most of the live entertainment operators estimate that the music industry will take until 2025 to recover from the impact of audience restrictions and shutdowns that have hampered it for almost a year.

Based on a survey conducted by Live Performance Australia (LPA), the apex body for live entertainment, on its more than 300 members, around 90% of them have stated that they are still dependent on the jobkeeper wage subsidy for continuing operations or for retaining the staff. One-third of the members who responded to the survey have stated that they will have to lay off the staff once the wage subsidy ends on March 28.

Speaking on the daunting situation, chief executive of LPA, Evelyn Richardson, stated that the pandemic has made a devastating impact on live entertainment. She also added that the industry has faced an estimated economic output loss of $24 billion along with a loss of $11 billion in terms of industry value.

Reportedly, the live performance sector has recorded a loss of around 80,000 jobs over the past 10 months.

Richardson further stated that although, the Australian Taxation Office has claimed that 90% of the 1.3 million jobs that were lost across the country have been restored, this does not reflect in the live performance industry. LPA is gradually getting its shows back, but under high restrictions due to which the business is expected to suffer heavily, she added.

Sources have confirmed that LPA has been in communication with Treasury and the federal arts minister, Paul Fletcher, pressing for targeted financial support until the end of 2021.

Last week, over 3,500 live music professionals had signed an open letter to Fletcher as well as the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, and Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, requesting for extending the deadline for jobkeeper beyond March 28 for the members working in the entertainment sector.