Pandemic strife leaves music industry in crisis

There are fears problems in the live music sector are likely to increase, as JobKeeper payments end and mental health issues rise among musicians and workers.

Concert with crowd cheering, Pixabay

Musicians and local artists are being left with ongoing uncertainty about whether the industry is going to revive itself in the years to come, and what this means for future jobs.

Statistics show 3,500 workers in the industry are pleading with the Federal Government for an extension to JobKeeper payments.

They believe government-supported funds will help keep the live music scene alive and vibrant.

Live music workers have said they have not felt supported during the pandemic which has caused stress and mental health pressures in the workforce.

Local musician Cody Osborne is currently out of a job due to COVID-19.

“The industry has basically lost everyone, and is now crawling back together,” he says.

Tweet: Jules LeFevre, 2020

The Australian Live Music Business Council is currently seeking government assistance to help music workers with their mental and financial wellbeing.

Executive general manager Craig Spann says the council wants governments to help workers get back to work in the industry, as the uncertainty over loss of jobs is causing mental stress among workers.

“I certainly noticed an increase in suicide last year,” he said.

As the end of JobKeeper payment approaches and live music events continue to be cancelled Mr Spann, said this year could be more challenging than the last.

Since the pandemic began, he says the industry is now in the worst state it has been.

“Whilst we may eradicate COVID entirely throughout Australia, I don’t believe it will ever be the way it was two years ago. I don’t think things will return to that within the decade, and that makes me very sad,” Cody Osborne says.

Osborne says the music industry was the first to be taken down by COVID and most likely will be the last.

Infographic, made by Talia Pieri 2021