Action Needed for Live Music Venues

March 19th 2020
The Music Commission is calling for all landlords of music venues to give urgent rent relief to their live music tenants.

The announcement today of a Government recommendation for no more than 100 people gathered will have a devastating affect on live music venues in New Zealand.  No audiences will mean live music venues are unable to pay their bills – and it is likely that if urgent rent relief is not provided, many music venue tenants will simply not exist at the end of the current crisis.

 

The Music Commission is calling for all landlords of music venues to give urgent rent relief to their live music tenants.

 

We are also calling on all Councils to give urgent rates relief to venues who own their own properties.  We realise there is no precedent for this – but there is no precedent for the events of this week in New Zealand.  We also realise that the mechanisms for such relief will not be in place at many Councils, but we urge them to immediately do what ever is possible to support these vital parts of our music community.

 

The Music Commission includes clubs and venues for electronic music in this call – wherever New Zealanders come together to experience music.  There are over 1,400 live music performance licences in New Zealand – and every single one of these businesses will be impacted by the rapidly evolving situation in New Zealand.

 

The live music sector in New Zealand is suffering huge losses already from the events of the last week.  Live music is by a significant margin the biggest employer in our industry in Aotearoa, with 55% of all full time equivalent music sector jobs being in the live performance  part of our industry.    The joint music organisation tracking project I Lost My Gig NZ collected information showing losses of over $2.6 million in earnings by NZ musicians and music businesses in the first 24 hours of I Lost My Gig NZ survey going live.

 

The Music Commission is confident that the Government are aware of the issues for the music industry and the wider arts sector.  We are hopeful there will be a response specifically addressing issues in the live music and performing arts sector in the near future.  In the interim, we call on those who can to take urgent action for live music venues today.


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