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Hang on - this is just the ticket to keep the music playing


If you have purchased a ticket for a concert or event that has been rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the best ways you can help those in the music industry who are struggling is to hang on to it.

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That’s the message from Tim Charles, vocalist and violinist for Melbourne progressive-metal band Ne Obliviscaris and owner of music promotion company Welkin Entertainment, a vocal supporter of the #keepyourticket campaign.

“If a tour is not being cancelled, if it’s just being pushed back or postponed due to the current crisis, if you hold on to your ticket, then that money  stays in the music industry and then the promoters, the bands and all the people that industry know that particular tour is going to go ahead,” Charles told InQueensland.

“It creates a bit of financial certainty that even though that income will be delayed, it won’t be cancelled altogether.”

Charles is also calling on those who can afford to do so to pledge a portion of ticket refunds for cancelled events to an Australian Music Industry COVID-19 Relief Fund gofundme page he and his wife Natasha have set up in partnership with the charity Support Act, which delivers crisis relief services to artists, crew and other workers in the sector.

“The reality is not everyone’s in a position to help, there are lots of people around Australia and around the world who are hurting now and will be hurting sometime in the future due to this whole global pandemic, but not everyone’s hurting at the same level and so really, as a society, the best thing we can do is band together and for those that are able to give something to do so.”

Charles was personally affected when last weekend’s Download Festival – which was to be headlined by My Chemical Romance and Ne Obliviscaris had been scheduled to play – was cancelled, and said he saw the immediate flow-on effects for others in the industry.

“The thing that struck me was it wasn’t just the financial effects that it had on me and my band,” he said. “I had to cancel our sound engineer, our lighting engineer and I had to cancel a merch order for $5000, which meant the merchandising company didn’t get that money, and then there was the van hire and the flights. There are a lot of people who aren’t going to get through these tough times without some help.”

Charles said he had spent a large proportion of his working life in the industry and it was vitally important that the public didn’t underestimate “the enormous value and importance of all elements of the arts on society”.

“I’ve been a professional musician for many years now and music really is my life I either work as a performer – a violinist/singer touring around the world – or I work on the business end as a tour promoter, booking agent and manager.

“From listening to a bit of music in their own home, going out to a gig on the weekend, or even just going out to a restaurant and you’d see there’s an acoustic guitarist sitting in the corner playing something with a singer, we have a great culture in Australia that really promotes live music a lot more than some other countries around the world. That’s obviously what this is all about – trying to make sure that that music industry doesn’t come back, weaker and depleted.

“It’s only by sticking together and helping each other out that we will be able to get through this because if people are left to their own devices, unfortunately, some people are going to get left behind through this crisis and if we stick up for them and help them out financially then more people will get through the other than the other end than not.”

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