Covid -19 Impact on Jazz n Blues

As I write this, there are no cars on the motorway from brisbane to labrador.

It is a cold, clear morning in mid- August—and it’s rush hour morning. The very idea of such barrenness at this time, in one of the hotspots of midtown Brisbane, is absurd. Yet there it is, so quiet you can hear birds chirp, on my laptop screen. (I’m watching it from the safety of my living room, via the livecam that sits at  Labrador Gold coast apartment.)

This is Brisbane Gold coast in the COVID-19 pandemic: Quarantine is keeping 3 million (brisbane Gold Coas0t) residents and uncountable would-be tourists at arm’s length. Stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, as well as mandated business closures, are the rule everywhere; however, with brisbane devastated by COVID, the policies are particularly strict.

The first major Australian music festival to be cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020 lost its game of chicken on Wednesday and became the first to be cancelled in 2021.

Barely 24 hours from its scheduled start, the pin was pulled on the Byron Bay Bluesfest, which was due to attract 50,000 people over five days, about half of the crowd it would pull in a typical year, and had headliners including Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, The Church and the Teskey Brothers.

To protect the health of Queenslanders, from 4pm AEST Saturday 31 July 2021 to 4pm AEST Sunday 8 August 2021, areas in South East Queensland, will be subject to new restrictions. This includes:

  • City of Brisbane
  • City of Gold Coast
  • City of Ipswich
  • Lockyer Valley Regional Council
  • Logan City
  • Moreton Bay Region
  • Noosa Shire Council
  • Redland City
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Somerset Regional Council
  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council

Mercifully, the trees that line the circle hide from online watchers what some of us, at least, see as the pandemic’s cruelest shuttering. surfers paradise beaches , the world’s most important restaurants night clubs  for the music’s performance, advocacy, and education, has been closed . Its performance venues are dark; so are its lecture halls, offices, and public spaces. “Pausing those things was dramatic,”  “We hated having to do it, but we had to.”

As managers seek to navigate the future, many music fans want to know one thing: How do we help?

We spoke to artists, managers and others in and around the music industry to learn what we can do.

Buy music and merchandise

This might seem obvious, but the best thing you can do to help is to buy the music of your favourite artists.

“Try and stimulate their businesses as directly as possible,” musician Alex Lahey told triple j’s Hobba and Hing on Tuesday.

Purchasing direct from artists through particular portals like Bandcamp, or artists’ official websites, is a good way to ensure the creators receive the bulk of the purchase price.

“Places like Bandcamp are really great at getting an immediate deposit of money across to artists with low overheads,” Lahey said.

‘Bulls–t’: ‘Another $200k’ of revenue lost to lockdown

A hospitality venue operator has been left fuming after the State Government’s snap lockdown which also shut down multiple weddings, a giant performing arts festival, sport fixtures, a two-day gardening expo and a cheerleading competition. >> HERE’S WHAT THEY SAID

They’re not alone. Every jazz venue across the fstate, and across the rest of the country (if not the world), has shut down until further notice. This leaves the artists out of work.


“It’s months and months of cancellations,” “My bookings in October and November and December are still on the books as of now, but it’s hard to imagine they will be happening. And I’m one of the lucky ones. It’s so tragic for so many people.”

 “A lot of us have projects that were aimed for this time period, and what do you do?” he says. “You put all this work into it and it’s hard to know what to do.”

Every live music venue of every kind is closed, of course; coronavirus doesn’t discriminate by genre. Jazz n Blues, however, while a worldwide music,It’s also uniquely wedded to live performance. Improvisation is its raison d’être—fans seek it out precisely because it will sound different every set. Artists need opportunities to work out their ideas in a live atmosphere, finding new ways to approach and expound on the same material.

Just as important, they need each other: people who speak the language and who can respond, in real time, to what their fellow artists say and do. “When I first fell in love with jazz, the conversation and interaction between musicians is what attracted me to the music,” says pianist Art Hirahara. “The first note that I play with a group of people after this is all over is going to be cathartic!”

There’s hope and determination in Hirahara’s words, and why not? Jazz is a survivor. It reached the peak of its popularity during some of the world’s darkest days, and it has endured through all the ups and downs that have come and gone since. It adapts. Even while they’re stuck at home, jazz n blues musicians are exploring new ideas and resources for making music and reaching hungry audiences with it, just as they always have.

The Gold Coast’s in 2020 live music scene is bouncing back and emerging as a hot-ticket showcase for local artists – even if pandemic rules mean gigs have all become intimate, sit-down events.

Gold Coast venues, like Mo’s Desert Clubhouse, a live music and art venue in Burleigh Heads, have fought hard to relaunch live music in line with coronavirus restrictions and tap the talent pool trapped in Queensland by border lockdowns.

“We had a metal gig here on Friday night and had 50 people sitting down at tables thrashing their heads,” said Mo’s Desert Clubhouse co-director Kim Ferguson, who has booked bands for at least three nights a week until October.

“It’s different, but it’s working.”

NO ONE should be forced to get jabbed with an untested vaccine against their will or through threat of job loss or education opportunities.


Millions of people have researched the vaccine and have legitimate concerns about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.

Almost nothing the government has said or done to this country in the 18 months has made sense. It is constantly changing what it wants us to do based on how willing we are to just go along. At this point nothing “our leaders” are demanding is based on science. It is based on control. How much freedom are we willing to give up?

Alex Lahey urges Government to help music scene devastated by $100 million in lost income

Australian music scene has lost nearly $100 million in lost income

In just four days, more than $100 million in lost income has been reported after industry groups asked artists, managers, bookers, venues, and others to self-record their lost income at

That’s just the “tip of the iceberg”, according to Emily Collins, one of two people behind the website designed to get an accurate tally of the dire impact on the local industry.

So far, an estimated 40,000 job opportunities have been registered, impacting over 200,000 people. “It’s growing so quickly and from what we’ve seen… We’re expecting this number to grow significantly over the coming weeks.”


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