With cases on the climb and new border restriction rules implemented, the news surrounding COVID is looking pretty grim at the best of times. In an age of social distancing and quarantining, we’ve seen the live music industry take a heavy blow. Thankfully, the state of Victoria is catching a break with the announcement that their lockdown rules have eased, allowing higher numbers to enjoy live music.
The new rules, which went into effect yesterday – allow certain live music venues to host a capacity of 75%.
The relaxed rules for Victoria include the following:
- Entertainment venues will be allowed up to 50 people on the dancefloor at one time.
- Theatres can also open to 75 percent of capacity with a cap of 2000 patrons.
- Venues adhering to Victoria’s rules will return to 75% capacity with a maximum limit of 2,000 patrons
- Crowd numbers will increase at approved public events, with outdoor stadiums able to host up to 75 percent of their capacity with a cap of 40,000 fans, while indoor stadiums have a limit of 75 percent of capacity with a cap of 7500 people.
The social distancing rules that were implemented due to the pandemic have had a huge impact on live music. In fact, it’s been estimated that the industry has lost over $345,000,000 dollars as of now. The figure has been released by a website called I Lost My Gig, that tallies submissions from artists and venues who have lost work due to COVID.
While the relaxed rules spell good news for Victoria, not all of Australia is so lucky. Queensland was dealt a blow last week when the government decided to cancel the live music entertainment for a 100% capacity crowd at a rugby league match at Suncorp Stadium due to ‘COVID restrictions’. Sports stadiums continue to thrive while live music venues are restricted.
Of course, NSW is currently experiencing the worst Coronavirus breakout in the country and its dwellers aren’t just restricted from attending live music venues, they’re on full lockdown at home.
For more on this topic follow the Live Music observer.