The last time Australia faced a crisis – sadly it wasn’t too long ago – our artists and entertainers used their talents and time to raise money for those affected by the bushfire crisis.
Banding together to help people who had lost loved ones, livelihoods and homes, and for the brave volunteers who fought the flames, the arts sector raised tens of millions of dollars via the huge Fire Fight Australia concert and through smaller fundraising gigs all over the country. Now, that same sector is in its own state of crisis.
It’s no secret the Australian music industry is in need right now. Bluesfest has been wiped from the 2020 live music calendar; Live Performance Australia hasn’t scored the $650 million coronavirus support package presented to government; and artists have lost over $330M in live revenue since the Govt-issued lockdown was put into place.
Thankfully, streaming giant Spotify is doing its bit to help music creators in need.
Spotify is working with a global list of music industry organisations to offer financial relief to creators around the world. This means Spotify is matching any donations made to Australian music industry charity Support Act, which offers crisis relief and mental health services for artists in need.
A Victoria University study found that musicians are five times more likely to suffer from depression and 10 times more likely to show symptoms of anxiety. Meanwhile, 40% of musicians are earning below minimum wage, and road crew have an increased risk of work related injury. Right now, many musicians have been left with no income at all. Some were supplementing their gig income with part-time or contract work in the hospitality industry, another sector which has been dealt a hefty blow with forced closures.
To help, Spotify has launched its COVID-19 Music Relief Program, matching dollar-for-dollar any public donation made via its site to select organisations worldwide. These organisations include Support Act, MusiCares in the US, and Germany’s Initiative Musik.
Spotify will match donations made via the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief page up to a total contribution of $10 million.
Spotify has also made contributions to public health organisations and donated ad inventory and platform space to share news and health information via a dedicated COVID-19 hub.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been identifying ways that Spotify can help make an impact around the world,” a representative for Spotify said.
“Spotify has always been focused on creating connections between artists and their fans, using music and podcasts to help break down barriers and build stronger communities. That community of support has never been more important.”
To double your donation to help musicians amid the coronavirus pandemic, make a donation at SupportAct.org.au.