In an effort to combat the devastating effects of the pandemic on the performing arts sector, the Australian union group Musicians Australia (MA) is calling for the implementation of a Minimum Fee of $250 for all gigs. Musicians are then free to supplement the minimum fee with their own additional Artist Fee.
The idea for the minimum fee came from a survey, which was part of the Australian government's approach to financial relief for musicians during the pandemic. According to MA, the government's relief grants were not specific enough in detailing how much money musicians should receive. As a result, a great deal of taxpayer money has been poured into the pockets of venues instead of those of artists.
When polled, 98.4% of musicians voted in favor of the proposed minimum fee.
MA is asking musicians across Australia to join its pledge for fair pay, in an effort to reform attitudes across the music sector. The end goal is to lobby lawmakers to include MA's minimum fee in the guidelines for government relief grants.
The union is now also in the process of building a Gig Map, which will make information available regarding which venues are paying fair fees to their musicians. If a venue refuses to pay the minimum fee of $250, musicians can report the venue to the Gig Map so that the issue can be listed publicly.
Members of Music Australia can also receive additional support from the union when dealing with venues that refuse to pay them appropriately.