Save Our Stages

Hospo Owners Collective with the support of FIVEAA and in collaboration with The Gov and Adelaide glam legends Chunky Custard, are rising to the challenge to SAVE OUR STAGES. COVID 19 – has changed the face of our arts and hospitality sectors for over 505 consecutive days. This has put significant strain not only on our hospitality venues, and their ability to freely trade to their capacity, but also our live performers and musicians who have not had the ability to earn their wares.

SAVE OUR STAGES originally an online Petition – was an initiative by local performer Lainie Jaimeson to raise awareness and gain support to the plight of South Australia musicians who have not had the ability to earn a living due to Covid 19 restrictions placed upon the hospitality and live gig venues. Hospo Owners Collective (who represent over 130 hospitality and live music venues) have grabbed the MIC and stepped it up a notch with the support of the legendary Governor Hindmarsh Hotel (The Gov) to bring Adelaide a one-off gig to raise awareness, and funds, in support of our musicians with money raised from ticket sales to be injected back into the live music industry. Jason Makarenko (La Sing/ Hospo Owners Collective) talks to Hi Fi Way about important Friday night’s event is.

Save Our Stages is an important event to highlight the impact on the industry with all the restrictions in place as a result of Covid-19. What are some of the outcomes you hope come out of this event this event?
Look the reason we started Hospo Owners Collective was to cater for the little guys, the ones who can’t afford large affiliate memberships. Cafe owners/ bar owners/ small restaurant and club owners as well as, now musicians and in fact the whole supply chain. We aren’t going away and to date we would like to think we have had an annoying influence over the decision makers. We look after all the family, musos need our help. So we are going to bang that drum, pardon the pun to allow reduced restrictions so that musos and the whole supply chain is able to prosper.

How hard has it been representing so many in the industry and seeing the devastation all this has caused financially and on people’s mental health and wellbeing?
Well it’s been a pleasure to be their voice. It’s been devastating however, talking to our supporters, who can’t pay rent, employees who can’t pay their rent either. Many have given up the hope of ever getting out of this mess due to the 520 consecutive days of restraining their trade by the inconsistent restrictions placed on them by Government.

In South Australia alone what has been the financial impact on artists, venues, crews and all those businesses that support live music and entertainment through missed gigs?
Hundreds of thousands even millions, however it’s all relative to each operator, whether it be $400 per gig or $4000 per gig it impacts just the same. The money isn’t the long term issue here it’s the mental health aspect.

Is the Government listening?
We are doing our best to influence sensible change, we have the media on side, so that’s always a very important vehicle in getting to the point of change .

How mad does it make you feel knowing that there are so many inconsistencies of density limits for certain types of events such as sport?
Very – our supporters are the first to be impacted and the last to be allowed to trade unrestricted. The only consistency it appears is inconsistency. We just want a fair go to thrive not just survive.

What do you think needs to happen to get the industry moving and people back working?
Money – and confidence to start/ keep going with a small business be it Hospo or performers or both. That support needs start at Government level in terms of putting pressure on banks to help start ups. Right now, who would lend anyone money to start up – no one .

Chunky Custard have risen to the challenge, what’s in store for those coming along on Friday night?
Friday is about a release/ fun – everyone has been under too much stress and pressure. We just want everyone to come along and just switch off for a few hours, enjoy glam rock royalty in chunky, and just have a ball.

Interview By Rob Lyon

This event has now been cancelled.

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