There is no question that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on both the current and future state of the arts industry. With news that all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people be cancelled, the everyday Aussies who rely on such income from these gatherings will be affected.
‘I Lost My Gig’ has been recording the financial impact of event cancellations and postponements across Australia and New Zealand. Incredibly, creative industries have seen a loss in over $47 million of revenue. A loss of jobs is over 190,000 and the total number of events cancelled is rising from 20,000.
A spokesperson from ‘I Lost My Gig’ said, “the response has been quite overwhelming. While the figures are astounding, and continue to rise, it’s the stories that really paint the picture of what is happening. Many of the workers from the creative industries live contract to contract, and usually don’t have income protection insurance or significant savings. Often people supplement their work with work in the hospitality industry, and that too is suffering from the impacts of the bans. So we’re seeing many people losing several streams of income, all at once, with no safety net. The responses we have had over the weekend have ranged from musicians, comedians, production technicians and hospitality services, to make-up artists, tour managers, publicists and staging. The ripple effect will only continue as more events, conferences, festivals and shows are cancelled in coming weeks.”
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, spoke in regards to the positive impact these creative industries have on our economy.
“Live performance events were attended by more than 26 million Australians in 2018, generating more than $2 billion in ticket revenues, part of the $112 billion arts contribution to the economy each year. More than 80 per cent of Australians attend arts events each year; 40 per cent of international tourists attend arts events; and more than 600,000 Australians are employed in the sector. Given the significance of the cultural and creative sector – both economically and culturally – it is important we work together on a constructive approach to preparing for potential impacts and fully understanding the support available,” Mr Fletcher concluded.