Groups from around the country who organise LGBTQI events and parties have presented a united front to ask the Federal Minister for Communication and Arts for support.
Limbo Party (Hobart), Heaps Gay (Sydney and Newcastle), Closet (Melbourne), Gay Times (Victoria), Unicorns (Sydney), Control (Sydney), and GiRLTHING (Sydney), regularly hold events in local venues.
The events feature DJs and paid performances from LGBTQI artists, and contribute to the culture and economy of the community. The new limit of 100 people for social gatherings will render these events unsustainable and severely impact the many partially employed people who derived income from them.
A joint letter co-signed by representatives of the above organisations has been sent to Hon Paul Fletcher MP Minster for Communications and Arts, (with Prime Minister Scott Morrison MP Treasurer Josh Frydenberg MP copied in) requesting financial support.
An extract from the letter, which was made public, reads:
“We are writing to call on you to immediately fund a proper package for sole traders, the creative community and event industry that will be devastated without support. Without direct and ongoing support the arts and entertainment industry will be on the brink of collapse.
This is an industry which contributes $50 billion to the Australian economy and employs hundreds of thousands of Australians, many in regional areas including our own parties.
Our arts and entertainment sector is always ready to step up and give back to the community, it’s time you gave back to them.
We look forward to you stepping up to support our arts and entertainment sector.”
Similar appeals are being made from arts collectives around Australia and in countries around the world. The arts and entertainment industry has been among the hardest hit by restrictions and cancellations caused by the coronavirus.