The federal House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts has released a National Cultural Plan, acknowledging the enormous economic and cultural benefits of Australia’s arts and entertainment sector, and recommending a series of policy initiatives to support and grow the “post-COVID economy”.

Australian Parliament House

At the same time, demonstrating just how devastating the pandemic has been for the arts, Live Performance Australia (LPA) has released its own report, detailing how $1.4 billion was stripped out of the live entertainment industry in 2020 – a 70 percent decline from 2019.

As the LPA report details, 2018 and 2019 were record years for live entertainment in Australia, making the collapse in 2020 even more stark. According to the report, the number of tickets issued to live performance events fell by 68 percent, and ticket sales revenue fell by 69 percent.

The impacts were felt across the performing arts. Contemporary music suffered an overall decline of 63 percent in revenue and 65 percent in attendance between 2019 and 2020; musical theatre lost 80 percent in...