I hear you. Yawn! Another day, another petition.
 
But let’s take a bit of a reality Check here.
 
Job Seeker was discontinued by the Federal Government even though the Queensland State Government maintains 50% restrictions on capacities for Live Music venues. It is literally impossible for any of the industry stakeholders to return to full business. Sporting Events are at 100% yet Live Music shows are not.
 
Inequity?
Disproportionate?
 
Is it any wonder there is another petition doing the rounds.
 
Yet why do we expect the Government to Play Fair? They have clearly demonstrated their value of our industry and are not coming to save us.
 
Since August, I have been in constant communications with a number of Federal MPs across the country. The message is basically that “We feel so bad for you ………………..good luck.”
 
If we pull ourselves out of our rightful anger, their response makes total sense.
 
And you are not going to like it. But it’s seriously time to collectively pull our big girl pants on and call it for what it is.
 

Where we are right now is on us.

 

As an industry, we have failed to sell our value.

 

As an industry we have failed to come together as one community.

 

As an industry, we have failed to level up to upgrade business practices and address the true long term issues facing the long term sustainability of this industry.

 

As an industry, we have failed to pivot and innovate to leverage off this COVID experience.

 

As an industry, there MUST be more to us than a collective of whining little bitches waiting for the Government to save us.

Before any significant change can happen, we need to dig deep into the foundations, ask some cold hard questions and craft a holistic vision and blueprint for the industry that supports the ENTIRE industry not just the elite and ticked boxes – but everyone – SUNG and UNSUNG.
 
The Music industry only exists because of the dedication and commitment of promoters in Bars, Clubs and Venues across the country relentlessly investing in live music shows, building a ticket buying culture, backing themselves as music curators, feeding audiences, growing markets and providing employment for hundreds of thousands of music practitioners year in year out.  
 
The Music industry only survives because of the ordinary everyday garden variety music artists and industry practitioners who tell their stories, share their music, pave the way for bigger events, feed audiences, grow the markets and provide the foundation for larger tours and events to leverage off the day to day investment in this market by people you will never see on the red carpet, hear their songs on the radio or necessarily know their names.
 
So if you want to PLAY FAIR, make sure the funding reaches THEM.
 
A stark picture of our industry emerged in the 2020 lockdowns. Cultural and Commercial – Peak Bodies, Arts businesses, Venues, Promoters, Musicians, Labels, Agents, Managers, Publicists, Production Companies, Crew etc demonstrate the dichotomy of our industry. First and foremost we are competitors. However for the market to evolve and the industry to survive and thrive, rebuild and recover, we must create an inclusive community where everyone has a right to be there.
 
Who will we charge to facilitate this process?
 
Good question. I will answer in another blog.
 
There is a definite place and value for Industry Peak Bodies. However, we need to change course. We must focus on recovery and rebuilding. We need to create our own new normal.
 
The present grant mechanism MUST change. Now. Not somewhere down the track. Now.
 
If the government was serious about rebuilding the industry that it decimated thanks to continued restrictive trade conditions, it would re route 75% of funding to commercial projects and partnerships that will promote recovery in the industry markets.
 
Yet it certainly does not seem like that has not been their focus. The messaging is all about the Government and the $260M packages they have delivered to our industry.
 
How can we create fair, equitable and transparent pathways to ensure that money will reach the industry practitioners in the coal face pivoting, innovating, rebuilding and laying foundations for the sustainability of this industry.
 
The bottom line here is that no one is coming to save us. 
 
Sign this petition and every other petition like it. Appreciate what it takes for people to come together to build campaigns and promote petitions like Play Fair. They are shining lights in our industry.
 
But ultimately until we each individually and then collectively in ALL our communities BECOME the change WE want to see in this industry, no one will hear our voice. 
Sign This Petition
Nichola Burton

Nichola Burton

Nichola Burton is the CEO of The Pushworth Group, Coach and Program Manager for Music Means Business, Event Manager and Producer, Artist Manager, Podcaster, Author, Musician and Vocalist in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia with over 30 years experience working with Musicians, Performers, developing Artists and coaching them through Marketing, Branding, Show and Business Management. She holds qualifications in Business and Front Line Management, Training and Workshop Delivery, Music Business Management and Piano and Voice from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

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