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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Make Music Day sees Canberra musicians unite

Canberra musicians of all ages, skill-levels and genres will perform from their footpaths, balconies and driveways for 20 minutes from 2pm on Sunday June 21 to mark international Make Music Day as they attempt to breathe life back into one of the hardest-hit industries in the country.

Residents are being urged ‘to get out and about’ in their community and enjoy the micro-performances while supporting local artists.

Weston Creek singer-songwriter Lucy Sugerman will be taking part in the event and said it was important to find ways to keep the industry going during the shutdown.

“Music is such a huge part of the Canberra community,” she said.

Ms Sugerman, who has been playing music since she was four-years-old, writing songs and busking since she was nine and performing professionally since age 14, said she went from a fully booked schedule to losing everything in a few days.

“It’s been a huge change,” she said. “Not just the lost gigs, but also the ability to collaborate and jam with others. Music and performing is a big part of my identity and self-expression.”

It’s not just the performances that Ms Sugerman is missing, she, like others in the gig-economy, has missed out on the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program.

Ms Sugerman said she has been applying for grants and was grateful for her part-time job. 

MusicACT Director Daniel Ballantyne is calling on the ACT Government to make live music a centrepiece of Canberra’s coronavirus recovery.

Mr Ballantyne said the government’s previously slated entertainment action plan had been “understandably shelved due” to social distancing but going forward the plan could help establish smaller performance venues and create a vibrant entertainment precinct in the city.

“We need the government to get behind live music and provide a future for our talented local performers,” he said.

“All we need is an easy-to-implement regulatory change for live music to become a great economic performer for Canberra.”

Interested musicians can register at musicact.com.au to get a personal promotional pack and go into a draw to receive $2,500 worth of studio sessions, store vouchers and lessons.

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