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Australia’s Live Industry Calls on Gov’t to Set Aside Coronavirus Bailout Funds

LPA warns the live industry’s needs “must be addressed.”

As the COVID-19 virus spreads the globe and wreaks havoc with the touring calendar, Australia’s live entertainment industry has called on government to set aside necessary funds if concerts and festivals are scrapped.

The federal government has promised a A$10 billion economic stimulus as part of its response to the impact of the disease, which has infected more than 100 Australians, with three reported deaths.

As Australia shifts gears for the colder, quieter months in the touring cycle, the live market here has been largely cushioned from the cancelations and postponements that market the concerts space across Asia, Europe and North America.

With several massive events planned for the months ahead, including the Byron Bay Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass, and tours featuring Green Day, Faith No More and many others in the second half the year, LPA warns the live industry’s needs “must be addressed.”

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LPA CEO Evelyn Richardson has written to the Minister for the Arts Paul Fletcher calling on government to ready funds for the industry and its tens of thousands of employees to counter the loss of income, jobs and investment caused by any disruption due to the health crisis.

“Live performance is a big driver of our visitor economy in both metropolitan and regional areas, so should be front and center of any government package to address the economic costs of the coronavirus outbreak,” Richardson said.

Guided by the official health advice, it’s currently “business as usual” for the market’s theaters, live music venues and festivals, Richardson notes, “although we are keeping a very careful watch on what is a rapidly evolving situation.”

According to the trade body, the live performance industry contributes more than A$2.5 billion annually to the national economy, and employs more than 34,000 staff.

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