Two new documentaries tackle COVID’s live music impact

Two new documentaries tackle COVID’s live music impact

Radical Hope
Emily Wurramara and John Butler

Australian music royalty John Butler, Tim Rogers and Missy Higgins all feature in two new short films on the impact of COVID-19 on live music.

Aiming to drive a return to live entertainment, Ticketmaster commissioned the two short films – titled Radical Hope and Back To Live – to explore the impact the pandemic has had on Australia’s live industry.

The documentaries give a behind the scenes look from the perspective of promoters, artists, production crew, ticketing agents, and all those involved in getting shows back on the road across the country through lockdowns and imposed restrictions on mass gatherings.

What you need to know

  • Radical Hope and Back To Live show the pandemic’s impact on live music
  • They feature high-profile Australian artists, promoters and organisers
  • They’re aimed at promoting the return of live music, post-pandemic

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Despite the many challenges that the industry faces, the films also explore how the live industry in Australia is one of the most resilient – bolstered by the passion and determination of the people that keep it running.

The first film, Radical Hope, follows Western Australia-based promoter John Zaccaria as he staged the first national tours in early 2021, SummerSalt and ByTheC, following the nationwide lockdown. The film takes viewers on an emotional journey showing how John, his team, and all those involved in producing these shows overcame COVID-19 restrictions to tell a compelling story based on ‘radical hope’.

The film highlights the complex process of putting on shows in the current climate while also serving as a celebration of the incredible work the industry is doing to return to live events. The film stars an array of Australian music stars, including Missy Higgins, John Butler, and Felix Riebl (The Cat Empire), and industry legends Icehouse tour manager Larry Ponting, Live Nation’s Roger Field, Ticketmaster’s Rob D’Orazio and Event Health Management’s Hugh Singe.

As Zaccaria recalls “the journey was wild, but the main take away is that it was possible – thanks to the support of all the bands, managers, Ticketmaster … and I can’t forget my great team. I’m hopeful it can serve as a model as we all strive to bring shows back at scale in the right way.”

The second film, Back To Live, takes a broader look at the industry, focusing on the importance of touring for artists, the need of community for fans, and a look to the future of our industry.

In this film, artists and performers including Missy Higgins, John Butler, Tim Rogers, Emily Wurramara, and British comedian Russell Howard reflect on the sacrifices and challenges of the return to touring, the importance of community and coming together, and look to the future of our touring industry.

Check out the website for more details.