The initial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic was felt with the cancellation of large outdoor events. Bluesfest was cancelled on March 16, just days after the Australian F1 Grand Prix was dramatically cancelled at the last minute, and it began a series of high profile cancellations as large outdoor and indoor gatherings faced restrictions.
By the end of the month the live entertainment industry in Australia, including all performing arts, staging and production, and AV were shut down. They have been shut down ever since.
Early support packages failed to address the needs of the Arts sector.
By the time any support was forthcoming – an announced package of $252 million in support from the federal government announced in late June – the industry was in crisis, the funding as too little; too late.
The Senate Estimates committee yesterday (Wednesday October 21) heard testimony indicating that four months later, barely 20% of this lifeline has been distributed. (The Guardian) The Arts sector fulfils a critical role in our society, and it is one that is obviously undervalued by the Government, despite the economic contribution of the sector to the Australian economy.
At this rate, by the time the money is received, the pandemic, and the Arts sector, may already be gone.