A new study examining the impact of the Corona virus pandemic on the Victorian music sector found that 58% of respondents are considering leaving the industry.

The Victorian Music Development Office (VMDO) and the Victorian Office for Women commissioned RMIT University to complete the study – Understanding Challenges to the Victorian Music Industry During COVID-19.

VMDO General Manager, Katie Stewart, explained that the research found that one crucial consequence created by the pandemic will be the likely significant loss of talent from the Victorian music sector.

“Throughout the pandemic many music workers found themselves doing unpaid work and also found it difficult to stay connected to industry peers,” said Stewart.

Other insights from the study found that:

  • 80% of respondents said their involvement in the industry would be different post-COVID-19
  • 74% of respondents said their income had decreased
  • 57% of respondents were worried about paying for basics like rent and food
  • 44% of respondents lost all their music-related work during the pandemic (those in full-time employment dropped from 34% to 7%)

Doctor Catherine Strong from RMIT University explained that “The survey also highlights that the pandemic has exacerbated and continued some already-existing problems within the Victorian music industry, including income security, discrimination and elitism as well as issues linked to location and demographics.”

“However, the consequences of the pandemic also enhanced some positive aspects for the sector, including greater community-mindedness, innovation, creativity and a commitment to music-making,” said Strong.

Survey respondents were also asked what they would like to see changed as the industry recovers and reopens. Some key themes included:

  • Improved working conditions – better pay and hours, improved access to benefits and more job security;
  • Changing the culture of the industry – increasing inclusion and addressing discrimination (sexual, gendered and racial) as well as shifting the focus to shared values rather than profits;
  • Maintaining external industry support – government grants and programs as well increased funding the VMDO and Music Victoria; and
  • Continued recognition for the sector – highlighting the outstanding skills and an industry that demonstrates economic and social benefits.

Throughout the pandemic, the Victorian Government has provided close to $25M in dedicated support to the Victorian music industry. This has included funding to support artists and acts, music industry workers and organisations, events and live music venues. The deadline for the next round of the Music Works grants is extended to 5pm Monday, 22 February 2021.

The survey report is available on the VMDO website.

Most read reviews

Driftwood The Musical | Umbrella Productions

Driftwood the Musical is a moving, enthralling story of a family surviving the ravages of war. It so timely, that it’s both poetical and painful.

Blackheath Chamber Music Festival 2022

This year's line-up, a cross section of some of the finest chamber ensembles in the country, would have graced any of Australia’s more well established festivals, and it is a massive endorsement of Festival Director Catherine Harker’s entrepreneurial skill that she was able to secure these wonderful musicians for a festival that too few people have yet heard of.

The Girl from the North Country

Set in Duluth Minnesota in 1934, The Girl from the North Country is a snapshot of troubled people enduring troubled times, gripped as they are by the Great Depression.

Cathedral | State Theatre Company of SA

It's a brave actor that takes on a single hander. The challenge of remembering lines, and holding audience's attention alone on stage for an hour and a half is a gargantuan one. But the actor is not alone.

Pieces of Shit | Bronte Charlotte and Leigh Scully

Charlotte and Scully delivered a thoughtful, funny, and moving new play that balanced toilet humour with hard-hitting, timely content.

Most read news

& Juliet, to premiere at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre in 2023

The greatest remixed love story ever told and West End award-winning anthemic pop musical, & JULIET, will make its Australian premiere at the Regent Theatre from February 2023 in a new production exclusive to Melbourne.

Entries for $10,000 Playwright’s Award Close Soon

In November 2021, Newcastle’s premier theatre production house, The Very Popular Theatre Company, launch its inaugural $10,000 playwright’s award, which is open to applicants across Australia.