The Queensland music industry is no longer disguising its anger towards the Queensland state government.
On Thursday last week, John Collins – director of The Triffid and Fortitude Music Hall – said it was difficult to convey how angry he was at the devastation caused to his businesses and the wider arts community following the summary restrictions imposed by the Palasczuk government without notice on Thursday.
Not only have entertainment businesses been effectively locked down – again – causing "hardship and mental anguish" the double standard in light of the go-ahead for the NRL grand final appears to be a tipping point for many. "This government is wiling to take a risk for the sake of football," he said in his heartfelt social media post which attracted the support of many influential names in Australian music.
"The government doesn't seem to care. They don't value [us]. The music industry and music venues have been through hell over the past 19 months ... apart from financial hardship the mental anguish is really taking its toll."
It's time for this government to know they have lost the support of the music and arts community.
Stu McCullough, owner of Amplifire which manages artists such as The Jungle Giants and Confidence Man, went further, "It's time for this government to know they have lost the support of the music and arts community and we hold a truckload of votes in some very marginal inner-city seats."
"They actually don't give a shit about anything apart from being re-elected. So many people have tried to appeal to this government, me and you and many others included, about the need to help the arts and music industry and we are being blatantly screwed over."
The government-mandated restrictions also zapped the much anticipated re-opening of the The Princess Theatre in Woolloongabba. The theatre which has been dormant for decades was due to explode back onto Brisbane's cultural landscape on Friday evening, 24 hours after the government announcement. Owners, Steve and Dave Sleswick felt they had no option but to keep the lights dimmed until patrons were permitted to dance again.
So many people have tried to appeal to this government about the need to help the arts and music industry and we are being blatantly screwed over.
Queensland reported two new community-transmitted COVID cases today. Two. Both cases are children and are household contacts of a man from the aviation cluster. The cases were detected in home quarantine. And for statistics of this magnitude the South East Queensland entertainment industry is pulverised.
This lack of community transmission indicates the NRL grand final will proceed in Brisbane tomorrow with capacity cut by 25 per cent making 40,000 people jammed into a cement box, mingling, yelling and screaming for two hours. Collins' post, including reference to this dispicable double standard read,
It's difficult to convey how angry I am after listening to Premier Palaszcuk deliver the new restrictions at the press conference this morning. I love my NRL as much as anyone but I'm struggling to understand the science that supports 40 000 people at Suncorp Stadium while the venues that I co-own and manage have again been reduced to 15% capacity (1 person to 4 m2 )
scenestr, too, relies on a vibrant and healthy cultural scene for promoters and punters alike.
Reduced capacity that also requires patrons to be seated means that we have had to cancel all of our events for the next two weeks. In reality - these restrictions are the same as a lock down for the music industry but without the financial support offered during a lock down. The music industry and music venues have been through hell over the past 19 months - averaging less than 30% capacity. Apart from financial hardship the mental anguish is really taking its toll.
The huge disparities between football and live music is obvious but our government doesn't seem to care. They don't value it. We've had previous lockdowns with fewer community cases but this government is wiling to take a risk for the sake of football - again - while restricting the music venues back to unviable conditions. When will they understand what this does to our industry? It doesn't seem fair to me.
We ask you to give this article a Like and a Share and encourage your friends to do the same. Join with us, John Collins, Stu McCullough and speak for the thousands of people who have finally had enough of competing populist policies purposed exclusively with aim of retaining government at the expense of the arts community.