Want to support musicians and music venues? Here’s how you can help

Want to support musicians and music venues? Here’s how you can help

Photo by Joshua Braybrook
Words by Kate Streader

Every bit counts.

This year hasn’t been kind to those in the music industry. After bushfires ravaged the summer music festival season, coronavirus has caused even more havoc by forcing venue closures and event cancellations. Income losses are mounting as tours, gigs and festivals fall like dominos and there’s no telling what the coming weeks and months will bring. If you’re feeling helpless and want to know what you can do to support the industry and those within it, here’s a few easy ways you can lend a hand.


Support Act have launched a COVID-19 Emergency Appeal to help musicians, crew and other music workers experiencing crisis as a result of loss of income and job instability. If you have the means, donate – even if it’s just a small amount. If you’re staying indoors, you’re probably saving yourself a chunk of change by not buying your daily coffee or being enticed by shop windows, and with the live music calendar being wiped clean, you’ll definitely be saving on gig tickets. So why not put those dollars to good use? Consider it investing in the future of the music industry.

Check in with your favourite venues to see how you can help

The Old Bar, The Carringbush Hotel and Collingwood Station Coffee have started a GoFundMe in order to pay their staff, with incentives for donating ranging from free entry to The Old Bar’s re-opening party to helping curate the lineup. The Tote are hosting a merch sale to raise money while one of the owners at The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar has recruited Amyl & The Sniffers’ Amy Taylor to give him “the mullet to end all mullets” if 1,000 people each pledge $20. And yes, the haircut will be live streamed for your viewing pleasure.

Buy music and merch

Support your favourite artists, labels and record stores directly by ordering music and merch from their websites. Chances are you’re going to be stuck inside for a while, so you might as well stock up on things to listen to. Bandcamp has also announced that it will waive its revenue share for 24 hours this weekend so that 100% of proceeds from sales will go directly to artists, so there really is no better time to pitch in and pay for some tunes.

Stream more music and upgrade to paid subscriptions where possible

If you’re not paying for you music, now is a good time to consider switching to a paid streaming service. No matter how you access your music, if you’re getting it for free it means you are reaping the benefits of an artist or band’s work without supporting them in return. And with live streamed gigs looking to be the new normal for live music for the foreseeable future, why not look into subscribing to your favourite acts’ Patreon or YouTube channels?

Share music and spread the good word

Coronavirus isn’t just hitting the music industry, it’s affecting everyone, which means it’s likely you’re also struggling financially and might not have the means to donate or buy non-essentials right now. If you’re feeling the pinch, there are other ways you can offer your support, even if it’s just sharing music with other people and turning them onto acts they mightn’t already know or spreading the word on what fundraisers and initiatives are out there.

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