Artists can now recoup lost royalties for COVID-cancelled gigs and festivals

A new initiative by APRA AMCOS offers $1.5 million in financial support for live performance royalties lost to COVID gig cancellations.

The latest episode of COVID-19 left many artists with no choice but to cancel their upcoming shows yet again. Luckily, a new initiative has been introduced by APRA AMCOS that aims to compensate Aussie and New Zealand members for the live performance royalties they lost as a result.

“Just as it felt like things were starting to open up and live music was ready to kick off a successful summer season, the latest COVID-19 wave once again cancelled live events causing substantial financial loss and emotional strain to our members and the broader industry,” said APRA chair, Jenny Morris.

Credit: Jacinta Keefe

As announced yesterday, APRA AMCOS members in Australia and New Zealand can now apply to receive financial support for live performance royalties lost due to the cancellation of concerts, festival appearances, and gigs that were set to take place from October 1, 2021, to February 28, 2022. Members can now submit a claim via the APRA AMCOS site. The cut-off date to make a claim is February 28, 11:59 pm.

Morris continued: “When a gig is cancelled, many are affected financially, professionally and personally. But there is an intangible cost as well when our artists are unable to bring communities together, connect with their fans and when they miss out on the career development that literally can only happen on stage.”

Splendour In The Grass 2017. Credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

As the music industry tries to recover from over two years of COVID-instigated financial and creative hardship, we’ve been glad to finally see a rise in funding initiatives this year. However, we’re not out of the dark yet. While APRA AMCOS CEO, Dean Ormston, agrees this new initiative will help aid the industry’s recovery, he’s calling out the government to do more:

“APRA AMCOS is putting royalties into the pockets of our members for the performances they intended to play. They planned, prepared and practiced and, through no fault of their own, once again they lost work and income,” he said.“We urgently call on government leaders to provide direct support to the artists, sole traders and small to medium businesses through a wage subsidy program, ongoing crisis support through Support Act, micro-business grants and a national insurance scheme.”

What a wonderful world that would be, where the government actually cares enough about artists to support them as much as any other worker.