Greens push for government-backed gig guarantee for live performers

The Australian Greens MPs

Greens Leader Adam Bandt has joined Arts spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young at the Comedy Republic in Melbourne to back live arts with a pledge to

  • back the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) call for $250 minimum fee for artist performances at publicly-funded events,
  • establish a new $1b ‘Live Performance Fund’
  • and deliver a Live Performance Insurance Guarantee

These commitments are all part of the Greens’ Creative Australia plan to invest in our arts, music and stories, with long-term funding and good, well-paid jobs. This also includes additional grant funding for COVID recovery through the RISE Fund, initiatives to boost our screen industry to tell Australian stories, the establishment of a Creativity Commission, and an artist-in-residence program.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson Young said:

“For the last two years of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Greens have been advocating for better support for our arts and live performance sector.

“The sector was smashed literally overnight and suffered the longest and hardest, yet repeated pleas to the Morrison Government for adequate help to survive and rebuild have been ignored.

“The Morrison government has treated the arts sector and creative workers with contempt, like a bunch of dim philistines who dismiss the public good of the arts but love belting out tunes from their favourite artists.

“The arts helped us all get through lockdowns whether it was listening to our favourite bands, watching our favourite shows, reading a good novel or appreciating other forms of art, it’s time we are there for them.

“Performers are the reason audiences show up, they deserve a minimum fee for publicly funded events – it’s the least the government can do.

“This minimum fee pledge is part of a comprehensive policy to revive and secure our arts and live performance industry, including with an enhanced grants fund (RISE) and a live performance insurance guarantee.”

Greens Leader Adam Bandt said:

“Artists helped get us through the longest lockdown in the world here in Melbourne, but Government support has been sorely lacking.

“The impacts of the pandemic are still with us, as we saw with the devastating impacts of COVID-caused cancellations at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

“A live performance insurance fund will help artists and performers hit with COVID-related cancellations.

“For too long performers have been expected to wear massive financial risks, and this instability means a lot of people can’t get into or stay in the industry.

“In balance of power, the Greens will push for musicians, comedians and other performers playing in government-backed events to get properly paid, and for more support for artists when gigs are cancelled.”

Background on Minimum Gig Fees Campaign

The Greens policy backs in the call from the MEAA for a minimum performance fee of $250 for musicians when organisations receive government funding. The policy will ensure artists are recognised and remunerated for their work, and go some way towards providing stability for artists who continue to face economic insecurity due to COVID. By legislating this, it will ensure publicly funded events reflect industry standards for payment as determined by industry bodies.

The MEAA campaign for a minimum support fee for musicians has been endorsed by State Governments in VIC, QLD, WA and SA. In NSW, support was given by the upper house, however it is yet to be legislated following the appointment of Perrotet as premier. Government-funded events should have the same approach.

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