More than 400 Australian performers and entertainers have joined forces for a new campaign to boost vaccination rates across the country and get us all back to the pubs, clubs, and dancefloors as soon as possible.
The live music industry, which in normal times contributes an estimated $15.7 billion dollars per year to the Australian economy, has been absolutely crushed during the pandemic.
Musicians and those who work in the industry are leaving their roles in droves as the sector crumbles from lack of ticket sales and government support.
That being said, it’s not done yet. Some of Australia’s top talent, including Powderfinger, Jimmy Barnes, Tim Minchin, Courtney Barnett, Paul Kelly, Archie Roach, Em Rusciano, Guy Sebastian, Amy Shark, Birds Of Tokyo, Amyl & The Sniffers, Hilltop Hoods, Marcia Hines, Midnight Oil, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Troy Cassar-Daley, Briggs, Daryl Braithwaite, and Human Nature and many, many more have combined forces to launch the new campaign, #VaxTheNation.
— Tim Minchin (@timminchin) September 5, 2021
The move is being spearheaded by the newly established LIVE Alliance (Live Industry Venues + Entertainment) – which includes organisations working across the industry like APRA AMCOS and the Australian Recording Industry Association. Touring venues, festivals, record labels, and global brands like YouTube and TikTok are also on board.
#VaxTheNation aims to remind all Australians of the magic of live events. It kicks off on Monday with a national television campaign soundtracked by Powderfinger, who donated the use of their iconic hit single ‘My Happiness’.
LIVE Alliance members have said that “The impact of the pandemic on Australia’s world-leading music, theatre, comedy and live entertainment industries has been truly devastating.
“Getting vaccinated is the crucial step fans can take which will allow us to join together and enjoy the unbeatable magic of live performance once again.”
Comedian, musician, and actor Tim Minchin said that the nation needs “a wave of positive messaging” around vaccination – a reference to our dire vaccination ads – and a reminder that we’re all members of the same society, with a common goal.
“Having the entertainment industry talk about how important it is that we can gather again and trying to de-complicate it matters,” Minchin said.
“We’ve got so much information and because we’re all a bit stuck and feeling anxious, clarity of messaging is difficult and that’s what I love about this campaign … that’s what they’ve got right.
Australian Festival Association general manager Julia Robinson said the ongoing lockdowns were “heartbreaking for the industry but also really heartbreaking for the fans” of live entertainment.
“We need people to go out and get that shot, get the jab, so we can get back to business,” she said.
“As we’ve seen overseas, people are getting back out there … they’re back to some sort of normal life and that’s what we want to see. We’ve been switched off for 18 months, but we’ve got amazing brands that bring festivals to the country every year [and] there’s an opportunity to really nourish new ideas and work with the regional areas as well.”
Musician Mark Seymour said the music business “has been smashed” and called upon fans to get vaccinated – not only for their health but for workers across the live events industry.
“The more vaccinated we are, the bigger crowds can be and the sooner live music can get back on its feet,” Seymour said.
“Please consider the artists you love and the thousands of workers who make the gigs happen. Show your support and get it done.”
The AstraZeneca vaccine is available right now to all those above the age of 18 who want it. If you or someone you know is worried about getting that shot, here’s our Q and A with a leading GP to alleviate some of those concerns.
Pfizer shots are arriving throughout the month, as is Moderna, and the availability of vaccines is on the increase. Vaccination is our only way out of this crisis so speak with your local health department about arranging an appointment as soon as possible.
See you down the front.