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Vax the Nation: Stars lend their voices to huge vaccine campaign


The music industry is campaigning to ‘stop the interruptions’ to live performances with Vax the Nation, a drive which has recruited Jimmy Barnes, Powderfinger, Tim Minchin and Courtney Barnett to encourage Aussies to get jabbed and into venues.

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Led by the LIVE Alliance, 400+ music industry workers and artists have lent their name to the Vax the Nation campaign, aiming to get Australia’s vaccination rates at 80 per cent so that the live music industry can forge ahead, uninterrupted by lockdowns and outbreaks.

The LIVE Alliance includes representatives from Australia’s live music peak bodies, touring companies, and national music organisations.

“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,” they said in a joint statement.

The campaign includes support by Brisbane talent Powderfinger, The Jungle Giants, Cub Sport, The Last Dinosaurs, Custard, and Regurgitator who hopped on social media to spread the word.

Powderfinger front man Bernard Fanning said the key to opening up again is pretty straightforward.

“Vaccination is the only way out of this for not just the live entertainment industry, but everyone. Back the science, back your community and especially its vulnerable members. Take control and get vaccinated,” he said.

“It’s up to us now to not get left behind as the rest of the world moves on. That golden ticket to the future is vaccination. We need to band together as a nation and get back to the Aussie lifestyle we have been so lucky to enjoy before the pandemic. Music and events bring people together, covid pulls people apart,” said The Jungle Giants.

For the past 18 months, the live music industry has struggled to stay alive amidst lockdowns, postponements, cancellations, and restricted capacity shows which saw the industry’s revenue reduced and tens of thousands of workers stood down.

According to modelling in the Live Entertainment Industry Report (2020), prior to the most recent lockdowns live music activity was at 12 per cent of pre-COVID levels as larger shows and tours struggle to get to turn a profit without full venue capacities and uncertainty around border restrictions.

Two thirds of industry jobs (79,000) were lost by the end of 2020 plus $23.6 billion of economic output and $10.7 billion of added value lost.

Adrian Collette, Chief Executive for Australia Council of the Arts said a vaccination certification should be the hottest ticket in town to get everyone back into gigs and festivals.

“Getting vaccinated now is a great way to show you’re there to support our artists, roadies and production crews who want to get safely back to work bringing us the performers and shows we’ve all been missing so much during lockdowns and other restrictions,” he said.

Chief Executive of the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA) Paul Murphy said the shared experience and connection of live performance is going to be essential to rebuilding the sense of community that has been decimated by isolation and lockdowns.

“It can only happen when enough of us are vaccinated to make it safe to reopen venues. Performers, crew, front of house and others working in live events are looking forward to once again delivering joy to audiences, and we urge all Australians to get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said.

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