Over 100 academics from across Australia, with a background in the arts as practitioners and educators, have written an open letter to the Federal Government, urging it to “take urgent action to mitigate the direct negative impacts the arts sector is experiencing as a result of its necessary and important response to the COVID-19 crisis”.

The letter has been made available to the public via the Australian Music Centrewebsite.

Referring to the statistics being charted on the I Lost My Gigwebsite, the letter cites the loss of over $280 million of lost income for creative industry businesses and workers in the week between March 14 and 21. “This represents 255,000 gig/event cancellations, impacting 500,000 people: just a fraction of the domino impact of COVID-19,” says the letter.

The situation has only got worse since then with the figures on I Lost My Gig now totalling $300 million in lost income, from the cancellation of 274,000 events, affecting 599,000 people.

The academics are requesting $750 million to support the arts industry, referring to an existing Live Performance Industry Package proposal.

“Significant and immediate support is now needed to protect the livelihoods of...