Live Performance Australia (LPA) says the industry needs A$650m in targeted support measures in order to survive.

The peak body for Australia’s live performance industry, in association with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), said the small business package measures announced yesterday (Sunday) by the Australian government “will not make a material difference to 80 per cent of our companies.”

The Australian government has activated a shutdown of all nightclubs, pubs, and entertainment venues and announced a second phase in its economic support plan worth a total of A$189bn.

However, LPA and MEAA claims that without immediate support for live events businesses, whose “entire revenue has fallen off a cliff,” they won’t survive.

LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson: “Australians who work in live performance or who rely on the industry for their livelihood have been the first to be hit by the coronavirus economic tidal wave and they will be the last to recover.

“We expect that people and businesses who operate in our industry, including our large casual workforce and sole traders, will be able to access some of the help that has been announced today, including faster access to income support payments.

“As the Prime Minister warned, this is not a two or four-week situation. We are in this for six months or more. Without a targeted, immediate and substantial support package, there will be no bridge to recovery for these companies and they will die.

“We are on the front and back ends of this crisis, and without immediate and substantial support for under-capitalised commercial and Not-For-Profit companies, we won’t have an industry in the next few months.”

The LPA’s industry package indicates cash injections of A$450m for commercial businesses, such as festivals, venues, ticketing companies and promoters, among others, with $100,000 to $2m per company to alleviate immediate and prospective losses and retain staff, a total of A$200m.

It would also allocate A$180m to Australian councils and $20m to provide mental health support for artists, performers, musicians, crew, and technicians amid the pandemic.

The news follow’s last week’s call from LPA for an A$850m live industry support and stimulus package, which seems to have decreased following pledges from the government.