“Snap lockdown, but arts staying alive” – Opinion Piece in The Advertiser

Last week I wrote and shared a letter with you, my audience, before the South Australia lockdown was announced. This was forwarded to the media as part of the promo for my Umbrella Festival season of Love At A Distance.

I was lucky enough to be asked to re-frame my thoughts for The Advertiser as an opinion piece, post-lockdown. Below is what went to print on 23/07/2021.

I hope you enjoy reading this and, when the opportunity arises, you decide to book tickets to see an artist like me. If you can, please support local creatives so we can work towards being back on stage very, very soon.

Screenshot of my adapted letter as published in The Advertiser on 23/7/2021
Below is full text writeup

Snap lockdown, but arts staying alive

WE live in uncertain times where things can change suddenly and with little warning.

This began as an open letter to encourage audiences to, if they could, support artists and attend in-person events this week. But on Tuesday it, and scheduled performances of my show Love at a Distance at the Umbrella Festival this weekend, changed with the introduction of lockdown measures across South Australia.

Despite Covid-19, and all the risks and challenges, artists are still creating, sharing, producing, and presenting work. Many are working in dynamic ways to overcome the barriers of lockdowns and closed borders by virtually connecting with audiences. As humans, we crave the rawness of live inperson shows and the energy audiences and artists create during a live show. But for us to do this when the lockdown ends, we need your support.

Every player in the arts and entertainment industry is important, whether you’re a solo performer, technician, producer, venue manager or part of a massive ensemble. We all contribute greatly to the culture, livelihood, and economy of our country. As a performer there are many costs to cover: venue hire, licensing, fees, promotions. It all adds up. Imagine how steep the costs and risks are for big shows. But there is still little being done to provide a safety net for creative industries.

Let’s consider the impact rapid changes have on potential audiences navigating their own experiences. Maybe they are keen to see my show once we come out of lockdown but have been financially affected by Covid-19. Or perhaps they’re immune suppressed, being mindful of their movements. Maybe, like me, they’ve become anxious about leaving the house unless absolutely necessary, believing attending live arts events could be a frivolous choice and they should just stay home to scroll their socials or binge-watch TV. Believe me, I hear you.

In SA we’ve been in a privileged position where so many events have still gone ahead with just a few changes. Today we’re reminded of the discomfort of uncertainty. While we’re in the thick of this I encourage you to support local artists however you can. Buy their art, music, or merchandise if available.

Do you have tickets for a cancelled show? Instead of a refund consider donating your ticket to help them cover costs.

Please follow the directives now – do the right thing so we don’t have to stay apart for too long. Hopefully soon we can gather (safely) in person again.

When the opportunity arises, I hope you buy a ticket. Who knows? You might attend a show that makes you laugh, cry, and feel grateful that we can gather in person again and connect. Will you join us?