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Missed Aussie Music T-shirt Day? Here’s how you can help musicians in the time of COVID-19.

Australia has a unique music industry. In recent years we’ve seen the devastating impact of the shutdown of nighttime economies by governments, and now Covid-19 is the blow the music industry didn’t need. Live performance has stopped, production has stopped, venues are closing. Our support is crucial now more than ever. So how can you help?

Buy your favourite artist’s merch

The music economy has totally shifted over the past two decades, and merch sales are a large source of income for Australian artists. Buying merch online is a great way to support all those artists who have lost income from cancelled gigs. Although, make sure to look out for dodgy resellers and websites that don’t put profits towards musicians. Where possible, look directly to the artist’s website.

Use the money you would’ve spent on gigs to buy music, rather than stream it

On average, Australian musicians can expect to earn less than a cent per song streamed on popular streaming services like Apple, Spotify and Youtube. The largest source of an artist's income comes from playing live gigs and selling merch. There’s never been a better time to hop on the vinyl bandwagon, or whip out the dusty CD player and create your own Covid-era lounge room concert experience and support your favourite artist in the process.

Contribute to organisations helping them get by

Support Act is a charity dedicated to the wellbeing of Australian musicians. Right now, they’re raising funds to provide crisis relief and mental health support for people who work in the music industry that have been impacted by Covid-19. You can donate to their Covid-19 Emergency Appeal here.

Hold onto your ticket to that gig. They’ll be back.

It’s easy to think of this crisis as the be-all and end-all for live music in Australia. Email after email about cancelled gigs can be disheartening, especially when so much of the previous dialogue had been about the difficulty to sustain live music in a country that doesn’t nurture night-time economies. It’s important to remember that the music industry won’t bounce back, and won’t continue to grow, without the loyalty of its supporters. If you’re able, try not to ask for a refund on tickets to any postponed gigs. Make a conscious effort to keep an eye out for renewed dates and tell your mates when you listen to a new album that you love. We need to be there at the ready to be in the middle of the mosh-pit and lined up at the merch desk when all of this is over. Australia needs a music industry - and it won’t have one if we’re not a part of it.

Roisin Murphy is a member of Young Labor Left. Twitter


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