I Lost My Gig Australia estimates that 23,000 gigs have been cancelled in Australia since 1 July 2021 leading to a combined loss of income of over $63 million. Only 7% of artists and arts organisations are operating at pre-pandemic levels.
These startling statistics outline the impact that the latest round of lockdowns has had on the arts sector and the difficulties that artists have faced throughout the last 18 months. Below are some of the most common legal issues we have seen as a result of the pandemic together with links to relevant information or Arts Law services.
- Contracts: If you’ve had to cancel a contract, had a gig or an exhibition cancelled or are trying to “pandemic-proof” contracts for the future Arts Law can help through our Document Review Service. You can also read our info sheets on Contracts: An Introduction and Contracts: Getting it Right.
- Insurance and liability: Many artists and organisations are unsure what their insurance coverage is for cancelled events or costs involved in planning events. Arts Law can advise you on your legal rights under your insurance policy through our Document Review Service.
The Insurance Rights Service can also give you advice, their general hotline number is 1300 663 464.
You can find more general information in our Liability and Insurance info sheet.
- Social media and online platforms: Many artists have been moving to promote themselves and their work through social media and other online platforms. If you’d like to know more about how to protect your work, or what to do if you see it copied online, read our info sheet or submit a legal query to discuss your concerns with a lawyer.
If you need legal advice about any of these issues or have questions that you’d like to discuss with an Arts Law lawyer you can submit a legal query here: https://www.artslaw.com.au/services/legal-advice/
Once we receive your query someone from the Arts Law team will be in touch to work out how we can best help you and guide you through the process. You can also contact us via email at [email protected].
Arts Law COVID-19 resources – information sheets:
COVID-19 FAQs for artists: https://www.artslaw.com.au/information-sheet/covid-19-faqs-for-artists/
Putting works online: FAQs for artists: https://www.artslaw.com.au/information-sheet/putting-works-online-covid-19-faqs/
Other COVID-19 resources:
The Australia Council keeps an up-to-date list of assistance packages, grant support and other information: https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/about/covid-19/
NAVA has information about best practice, financial support and advocacy issues: https://visualarts.net.au/advocacy/campaigns/industry-advisory-note-covid-19-response/
I Lost My Gig Australia is tracking cancelled gigs and lost income in the music and performing arts sectors: https://ilostmygig.net.au/
Lifeline Australia is available to call on 13 11 14 or text on 0477 13 11 14 if you need mental health support.
Beyond Blue has a dedicated Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service: https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/?utm_campaign=hp_banner