Don’t give up your day job just yet… MEAA reports Aussie musos on average made less than 6000 bucks last year

Musicians are struggling with gigs that don’t pay well, not knowing when they’ll get paid because of unpaid shows, and feeling let down when festivals get canceled

A recent report by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) has brought up some real challenges in the Aussie music scene, but read on, it’s not all doom and gloom.

The report found that many musicians are really struggling financially, with almost half making just $6,000 or less a year from their music. It’s tough, especially when you consider it’s even below minimum wage.

aussie music scene MEAA report 2024

It’s forcing some really talented folks to balance their passion for music with making ends meet.

There’s a few reasons behind all this. Musicians are dealing with low pay for their gigs, not knowing when they’ll get paid because of gigs that don’t bring in any money, and feeling let down when festivals they were banking on get called off.

Take Kimberley Wheeler, for example. She’s a musician and a board member at MEAA, and she’s having to juggle her music with some IT work just to get by.

MEAA is really pushing for change. They’re suggesting a national minimum fee for musicians to make sure everyone gets fair pay and that the money in the industry gets spread around more evenly.

Right now, a big chunk of the money seems to end up in the pockets of just a few artists, leaving the rest struggling. Dr. Catherine Strong, who knows her stuff when it comes to the music biz, thinks we should be moving some of that cash from the big concerts to help out smaller venues and the up-and-coming artists they support.

But it’s not all about changing policies. Us as fans can make a difference too. Dr. Strong reckons if we really think about the true value of going to those smaller gigs, we might be willing to pay a bit more for tickets and really support the artists we love.

And hey, it’s not all doom and gloom! There’s a little bit of hope on the horizon with a Senate inquiry that the government’s kicked off. And with the work that MEAA’s doing, we might just be able to make things better for Australian music.

By making sure everyone gets paid fairly and spreading the love around, we can build a music scene that’s not just vibrant, but one that really celebrates and supports our amazing artists.