An open letter signed by more than 100 music venues is appealing for critical financial assistance and protection.
Dozens of music venues from Melbourne and across the state have signed an open letter calling on the Victorian Government to "step in and save our proud music culture by preserving the venues where artists play."
The arts and entertainment sector has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions, with music venues likely to be among the last to have those measures lifted. "Live music means mass gatherings, so it will be many months before our state's music venues can safely reopen our doors at viable capacities," the letter continues. "In the meantime, our venues are being crippled by mounting debt including rent, mortgage payments, bills and insurance. Without Government intervention, many of the venues you love will be forced to close their doors permanently."
Melbourne has the most live music venues per capita of any city in the world, the letter cites, with around 100,000 events per year generating an estimated $1.42 billion.
The campaign also includes a petition to Parliament, requesting the development of a "package of needs-based financial assistance to protect small- to mid-size enterprise music venues until they are able to trade sustainably" as well as a "clear and balanced roadmap to reopen at full capacity" once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
Read the open letter and sign the parliamentary petition here.
RA started its own #SaveOurScene campaign back in March to garner support for the global electronic music scene in the wake of the pandemic. You can read and sign RA's open letter here.