Australian citizens involved in the arts and entertainment industries are set for the toughest challenge of their professional lives as they plan to weather the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
As of Tuesday, around 65,000 gigs have been cancelled across Australia according to I Lost My Gig, a support website set up recently for entertainment industry workers to log their losses.
The cancellations have impacted a total of 380,000 people, and has resulted in around $100 million in lost income.
Central West-based musicians have too been affected by the slew of cancellations, but are not letting the situation break their spirits.
Bathurst duo Momentum are set to stage a live stream a gig from their living room on Facebook this Saturday from 7pm, inviting anyone wishing to get their music fix.
"We've had a month's worth of gigs cancelled in the last 24 hours, so it made sense for us to put on a gig we could still perform," Momentum's Lauren Hagney said.
"There's no doubt the entertainment industry will take a severe hit over this situation, but we've seen the feel-good stories coming out of Italy of people in isolation sharing the love of music and we've decided to do the same."
Momentum, who consists of Hagney and Dave Webb, are regulars on the wedding entertainment front, and with yesterday's decision to ban indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, streamed gigs could be a go-to option for musicians in the foreseeable future.
"In the likely event this situation continues, we'd like to reach out to other musicians in the local area to join us in sharing these 'online busking sessions'," Hagney said.
"Our stream is set to go international, with quarantined viewers from the US, New Zealand and Mexico keen to tune in."
Millthorpe-based musician Jason Roweth, who performs in a folk duo with his wife, Chloe, is also feeling the challenging burden of an absent live music schedule.
"Music has been our full-time job since 1998 and over the last few days, the schedule has been wiped clean," Roweth said.
"Our work is split between small and large festivals across Australia, and around a third of our income comes from album sales at those gigs."
Roweth also does a lot of music-related work with local school, and said he stands to lose thousands in income.
"It's like someone's turned out the lights and there's no one home," he said.
"An artist not able to apply their trade is an artist in pain."
Roweth said it's vitally important for local entertainment fans to back their create friends in this difficult time.
"Musicians are moving towards online, subscription-based streaming, which is certainly an attractive option at the moment," he said.
"There's also the ability to purchase albums and merchandise online."
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