As COVID-19 drastically reduces the incomes of those who rely on the live music sector, The Cat Empire have initiated their Lockdown Get Down movement to help musicians increase their income during this turbulent time.
In the days since the COVID-19 pandemic has seen countless festivals, events, and gigs postponed or cancelled, the impact it’s had on musicians the world over has been astronomical. In just a matter of days, the ilostmygig website helped to point out that the current value of reported income lost by those in the Australian music industry is $150m, and rising fast.
One of the Australian artists to have felt the impact of these cancellations is The Cat Empire, who between the axing of the remainder of a sold-out European tour and appearances at Bluesfest and Groovin the Moo, had 17 show cancellations in just two days. This equates to over $750,000 lost income for the group, not including unrecoverable expenses.
While artists have made the call for broadcasters to increase the amount of local content being played in an effort to help out struggling artists, The Cat Empire have now launched Lockdown Get Down, a movement that provides fans with a simple method to support their favourite artists with little more than a click.
“As I made the call to cancel The Cat Empire’s European tour I went to bed dreading the next day,” explained Correne Wilkie, Director of Maven & Muse, and manager of The Cat Empire.
“I woke up knowing I had to turn despair into innovation, and not just to help the musicians I work with, but all musicians. So the idea for Lockdown Get Down was born, and brought to life by my team in the 48 hours that followed.”
— The Cat Empire (@thecatempire) March 18, 2020
The idea is simple, and requests those who use streaming services to play their favourite Australian artists on repeat in an effort to boost the amount of royalties they receive.
“After giving so generously to bushfire recovery efforts around Australia recently, we know that people are low on cash reserves to help others,” Wilkie adds. “But this idea won’t cost you any more than what you are already paying to listen to music, and if you use a free streaming service, then it won’t cost you at all.
“However, it is important for our industry to educate music lovers to upgrade to paid subscriptions where manageable, which is significantly more beneficial to musicians than listening for free.”
Turning it into a social movement, The Cat Empire also request fans to create and share playlists with the name “lockdowngetdown” to help turn this into a new opportunity for musical discovery, and to share videos and photos of your musical experience with the #lockdowngetdown and #thecatempire hashtags.
“Our industry is under serious global threat as gatherings in public spaces are not allowed to continue”, Wilkie concludes. “There are no bail out packages for musicians, or songwriters, sculptors, photographers, creators… And yet, we desperately need the beauty of artists reflected in the world so we can find our way through the dark times.”
“This is our way to sing from the cyber balconies to the world in these difficult times,” adds John Butler. “We know what music is for the world and we know how important it is to make sure artists you love are supported so they can keep making the good stuff.
“It’s a symbiotic relationship. Stream your favourites on repeat and help the artist help you.”