Words by Kavina.
Venue life is back on the upward rebound, with the entertainment sectors post-COVID glow up making us look downright friday night dateable again. We saw out 2020 with a 90% decrease in live music revenue due to the obviously lame consequences of the world's most anti-fun illness, but the hefty savings and pockets full of jumping beans have us wanting to land safely back onto the dancefloors, entertainment halls and festival fields which gave us endless joy.
While we overcome the struggles of capped venue restrictions and lack of motivation as a result of PTSD lockdown vibes, it’s not an absence of enthusiasm keeping our venues waiting to hear from our bestmate customers. Uncertainty definitely has some punters shying away from the foreverchanging D-floor rules, but if “light the beacons” is a phrase which means anything to those of you who spent last year rewatching Lord Of The Rings, it’s time for venues to show us the way back, so that Rohan - I mean customers flock back to where it all began.
Print up the special’s flyers, and they shall come!
The young generation with the mostest, at your service
And who is the “us” I'm referring to with the jumping beans and first time life savings? Why the young people of course! With our dregs of youth being restored by mandatory lockdown, alongside our fully recuperated livers, we’re here to be inspired and get involved in the entertainment which filled our days via speakers and airpods. We’ve had enough VR Glastonbury, Zoom PJ parties and TikTok dance reels to be ashamed of for a lifetime, but the most positive aspect which came from these time-fillers were that they were free!
After the past 6 months spent molding our bodies back into presentable party machines, we’re ready to take on our limited travel bubble with the world/New Zealand and we’ve got the 200 billion dollars in projected household savings for the last year to prove it. As we emerge into a post-pandemic economy and start laying down plans for the foreseeable future, we’ve come to appreciate the backyards which have kept us safely encapsulated. But like any pond becomes small, they’re feeling a little quiet, and the musicians and punters are restless in getting back to it. According to music surveys like I Lost My Gig, mental health was a real issue which came with the stagnancy of artists and punters who could not participate, but the sun is shining brighter, and we’re ready to get back to it!
Recession depression, but short lived!
Yep, those savings accounts are looking pretty schmick now after a year's worth of hibernating, but Australians are getting restless as we’ve started to gain momentum in 2020. There's only so much grass you can grow, and now that those property repairs are done and we’ve paid back mom, it’s high time we start to invest back into our second homes that kept our toes good and toasty, and our lives filled with music and good times!
According to our economic wizards, the nation was forecast to recover by the end of our first quarter of this year and unemployment rates have decreased exponentially - hospo scene we back out here! Our short term recession depression started to remedy itself around December, and the self-imposed limitations smartly put in place by consumers were purely out of uncertainty on how to navigate EVERYTHING being shut down. The better word for recession would’ve been ‘anticipated spending’ as we didn’t necessarily cancel our holidays or festival tickets in stubborn hopes of a return to a better day, and that day has come my friends!!
We’re trying to get out of “survive” and into the “thrive”
Pollstar revealed that its surveyors are predicting a return to capacity in 2021 and continuing relief efforts and the government proves they want to help! The entertainment and travel sectors both play crucial roles in our economic wealth, and it’s been all hands on deck as we see the nationwide support efforts roll out to our venues across Australia. With NSW’s 51mill including Destination NSW’s exclusive live music support package rolled out at the end of March to help encourage a return to nightlife in the CBD.
Queensland has seen major payouts to its leading venues such as the Tivoli, Triffid and Fortitude Music Hall were part of the group to receive additional support to help and acknowledgement as the backbone for live music venue revenue for the state and providing over 92000 jobs for it’s locals! After JobKeeper cuts had venues wondering whether they’d even see it through the next day, especially while contending with the harsh realities of trying to get numbers up with limited attendance caps in place. Victorian industry being at barely 5% operation according to APRA AMCOS music rights group and a nationwide call to allow venues to put their numbers up are the main limiting factor to making our biggest events feasible.
There’s a lot of room for you to get involved!
While some states are doing it tougher than others, the fact remains that we’ve got a lot of postponed weddings, special occasions to get to! With so many emerging bands which we are still yet to see, there’s a lot of room for venues to become entertainment hosts, set up gig rosters and bring music to every day of the week if they so please!
Splendour In The Grass and Dark Mofo might be back, but getting to the biggest events of the year aren’t the main source of joy in our lives anymore as our lifestyle and workpace have become a balanced combination over the past year. We’ve established that the kids are itching to get back to it but with a major loss of touring revenue, bands have taken a step back due to roster uncertainty in the different states. Many young musicians have ventured into the rural scene while trading in their big city circuits because of the aforementioned limited caps resulting in limited performance space. Give the gang a place to play!
Music is a lifestyle, get creative with your offering
As we experienced ourselves firsthand, our everyday lifestyles got a levelup last year, as we invested in our homes, comfort and extracurricular activities. When we talk about a need for entertainment these days, we aren’t just talking about music. To have a reason to leave the house in the midst of a global pandemic means that everything has to be worth it, tenfold.
Whether it’s capitalising on the ‘dinner and a show’ aspect, you can charge a little extra in support for your resident musicians if you’re offering an accompanying cheap meal to add value. Sunday roast just got a little more interesting for the family of four who got to experience the local talent they forgot needed our support!
It’s not just the meal deals either, microbrewing culture is famously linked to music and art collaboration, so where there is beer there will be bands! Get creative in the way you merge local business with your neighbourhood talent and use your commercial prowess to bring your own version of Snoop Dogg wine to your haunts. Offer up some housemade merchandise, bring back the ‘dinner and a raffle,’ neighbourhood meet and greet, or local competition to bring the excitement and interaction back into community gathering.
We all want to get involved but we/I might need you to lead the way!
I’m not going to delve into an inspirational speech about leading the donkey to the well, or building it and they will come, because we’re all exhausted but trying! As both a DJ and avid participant in the local scene, let me appeal to you by stating that it is both hard to get gigs and to also see gigs on the nights that we have free to hang for pure lack of travel plans to India or Italy right now. Most of my gigs are played online, for mates to play to their mates at dinner parties in the US, or sitting at home twiddling my thumbs on a Thursday because a majority of venues have reached their limited capacity shows, or aren’t putting on gigs during the week.
If I am going a little stir crazy, then I am assuming that the vibe is mutual for all of us, including you and your whole crew of venue staff, just itching to get their hands and their ears dirty. If you’d like to chat to your local Muso fam about how you can collaborate in the scene then we put our hands up to be a part of your journey. The only way out of our little slump is to get back to it. I don’t know if there’s an energy drink out there which collectively Jazzes the entire industry, but our bodies are ready!!!
It’s good to be back, and we can’t wait to recreate our 2021 music scene with a whole new roster of aspiring artists and venues branching out their venues and tucking into the music scene. Our goal at Muso is to connect venues and artists through our streamlined online booking platform. Word of mouth and walk-in job applications are cute, but we’re out here and quite busy! So set up a profile and see who is ready to connect in your area. The future of thumping beats is in your hands. We for one cannot wait to see what you come back with!