Gold Coast business owners impacted by reduced crowd capacities have united to champion certainty for the industry as we move towards a ‘new normal’ for the arts and small business.
Live music and entertainment venues have been impacted by reduced capacities for more than 12 month and the uncertainty is taking its toll.
The newly established Independent Entertainment Industry Alliance which held its inaugural meeting at Mo’s Desert Clubhouse last week is calling for the Queensland Government to provide certainty for the sector.
“We are calling on the Queensland Government to end capacity restrictions for live music and entertainment providers,” Kim Ferguson, Alliance spokesperson and Mo’s Desert Clubhouse co-owner said.
“It’s not viable to trade within these capacity restrictions,” Ms Ferguson said.
“The restrictions to ticket sales mean that performers can’t earn enough to justify the show, and we can’t ensure operating costs are met through bar sales with such a small crowd.”
“It’s so positive that Queenslander’s can safely enjoy large sporting events, and we’re simply asking for the same consideration of the arts,” Kim said.
“We know Queenslanders are just as passionate about music and live entertainment as they are about football.”
The Alliance is committed to ensuring patron and artist safety noting that contact tracing is simplified for ticketed events, that single entry points to most venues make QR check-in easy and that the requirement for mandatory masks has seen most patrons comply without enforcement,
The new Alliance, catalysed by Kim alongside Chloe Popa from the Gold Coast Music Awards heard of the frustrations of local businesses trying to ensure their own survival as well as that of local and touring artists who rely on live performances to make ends meet.
In addition to full trading capacity, the Alliance is also calling on the Queensland Government to implement a border pass system for established touring artists who rely on live performances for their income.
“Our sector has a huge number of hidden industry professionals,” Ms Ferguson explained, “and all of these people are impacted by reduced capacities or cancelled shows.”
Booking agents, road crews, cultural media, artist managers and event coordinators are some of the “hidden professionals” who are driving the Alliance.
“These people have all shared their frustrations and hopes for an industry that has continued to be rocked by intense regulation in the face of COVID-19,” Ms Ferguson said.
IMAGE (c) Melting Wax Photography
The Independent Entertainment Industry Alliance is developing a unified proposal to the Queensland Government to establish a roadmap to full capacity trading for the live music and entertainment sector.