“My team and I now do not have any foreseeable income to pay our rents, our mortgages, our bills and support our families,” alternative singer-songwriter Alex Lahey has written in a powerful letter to fellow Victorian and Premier of the state, Daniel Andrews.
Amidst the global postponing and cancellation of music festivals and events alike due to COVID-19, Lahey has taken it upon herself to bring to light the real problem artists face with their main source of income suddenly taken away, in a letter to the state’s leader.
Alex Lahey wants artists to be remembered when it comes to financial assistance, following the ongoing impact of coronavirus on working people around Australia.
Recently the government announced funding packages to be rolled out to small business and other independent operations that will suffer due to the virus outbreak, but as pointed out in the letter, artists and creatives may very likely be left out of any governmental help.
“Whilst initiatives have been put in place to provide financial stimulus through tax initiatives and some employers have moved towards providing support for their casualized workforce, people like myself do not qualify for the latter and have to wait far too long for the former,” Lahey described in her letter. “There is no immediate relief and support.”
A recently established website, I Lost My Gig Australia, reveals losses endured by artists from cancelled events and gigs around the country. The striking figure, currently at $100 million in lost income, accurately supports Lahey’s claim that artists suffer just as much, if not more, than small business owners and other self-employed people.
The current global panic and widespread self-isolation serve as a reminder that we can’t let fear dominate our lives. We need to make sure our artists, whose sole purpose is to entertain and bring together communities in times of need, get just as much care in return. Continue supporting musicians and performers across the nation in any way you can, after all, they support us.
Read Lahey’s letter below.
An open letter to @DanielAndrewsMP urging him to consider a more rapid response for artists and musicians who have found themselves without any foreseeable income in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic@VicGovAu @ArtsVic @VicGovtNews @MartinFoleyMP pic.twitter.com/rTMP7WqaCz
— Alex Lahey (@AlexLahey) March 16, 2020