Woman leaning on a bar

Tell us about your creative work

I have worked in the music industry for nearly 20 years as a venue booker, festival programmer, producer, publicist, teacher, entertainment manager, musician, radio presenter, podcast enthusiast, AFL/W Western Bulldogs fanatic and all round contributor to the local music community. My most recent jobs were as programmer for the Brunswick Music Festival and programmer and interviewer of musicians on Small Time TV in Brunswick, and I had various other contracts throughout the year.

I’m currently the director and programmer of Isol-Aid festival. The music business is also at the heart of my social life. I’m frequently out at gigs, festivals, conferences and functions, and I have formed close and enduring friendships with colleagues in the industry that are central to my life.

How has coronavirus impacted on your life and work? 

It’s devastated it. I am a contractor (which as an aside felt like a scary and uncertain path to choose at the time), but now I have nothing secure. Right now there is zero certainty for me going forward. I have been working on Isol-Aid for free, (and in fact paying its expenses out of my own pocket), and right now I have no idea what my professional future will look like.

I live alone and I’m normally incredibly social and active. I have a wide and wonderful social network that I miss terribly, and I am an avid (read addict) gig attendee, and I miss my live music/venue crew too. These days I meet virtually with friends when there’s time, and in some ways we’re in closer touch than ever, but nothing beats an irl hang.

How are you coping or responding at this time? 

I have been working upwards of 16 hours a day seven days a week on Isol-Aid, a weekly virtual festival of 50+ acts, which is my response to the cancellation of performance and touring opportunities for musicians. Isol-Aid aims to help musicians remain connected to their fans, gain new followers, showcase their work and advertise their merch and any new releases. It also creates community amongst its many viewers and offers access to live music for otherwise isolated and marginalised people with physical, psychological and geographical barriers. The festival directs funds to Support Act, the only Australian charity to provide crisis relief services to artists, crew and music workers.

Do you envisage new creative sector opportunities emerging from this crisis?

The music industry is such a resilient and creative community. There are already many initiatives that have emerged since restrictions, and I have no doubt many more will arise. My hope is that those opportunities that enable and promote access (in all its forms) will remain long after the restrictions are eased across the country.

In three words, offer your fellow creatives some encouragement or advice. 

Connect. Community. Cat.

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