Interview: How Is The Coronavirus Outbreak Affecting The DIY Music Scene? We Speak to Australian Punks Glitoris and Tim Perry of The Windmill, Brixton

Last week we caught up with several of our favourite independent artists to find out how the Covid-19 outbreak was affecting them, and a lot has happened in the intervening days.  We’ll be continuing to keep you up to date with what’s happening by speaking with bands, venues, promoters and labels, finding out the issues that are affecting them and looking for ways that we can all support one another through this period.

First we heard from Keven 007 of Australian punks Glitoris, who had been on a tour of their home country when the pandemic hit.

How have Glitoris been affected by the virus and the restrictions that have been put in place to contain it?

To begin with, our entire Slut Power Tour 2020 has been postponed. Luckily we got our first two Northern Territory shows in there. Needless to say it’s a lot of work to both book a tour and then un-book it, however it is what it is and theres not much anyone can do about it. Social isolation is being strongly recommended to contain the virus, so that’s what we’re doing. We really feel for all the venues, artists and everyone who has been put out of work and lost income due to the pandemic.
In the UK people were originally advised to avoid pubs, clubs and cinemas and these establishments have now been told to close.  What has the response been in Australia?

As of yesterday all ‘non-essential’ business services have been encouraged to close. This includes pubs and music venues (sad face!). Where’s the beer when you need one!

Has there been any support available to bands to help with the impact of these changes?

Funnily enough, the Government has offered zero support to musicians. That said, the PM did mention support to ‘sole traders’ put out of work. So that would depend on how you’re set up as an artist.

Have you been doing anything to keep in touch with fans that haven’t been able to attend live shows?

All the time! They have been extremely supportive in keeping their tickets and hanging at our bandcamp merch store. We really hope to do an online streamed concert, though even that is challenging as our drummer Scott lives interstate.

What can music fans do to support their favourite artists at this time?

If you’ve bought a ticket to a show, please hang onto it. Or donate it to someone. Sharing and purchasing music and merch is always appreciated and can really help artists 🙂

These are challenging and concerning times. Artists will struggle but are also resourceful creatures! Thank you to the Internet, we can stream concerts from our houses or wherever. Glitoris are going to take the opportunity to work on new material. The sense of community is palpable, we’re all here for each other and we will get through this. \*/

We also spoke with Tim Perry, booker at South London live music institution The Windmill, who have had to close their doors during the period of social distancing.

What has the impact of the virus and the government’s advice for people to stay away from social events been on The Windmill so far?

All events have been cancelled. People are scared. People are going into self-isolation. People are worried about spreading the disease.

With it looking likely that this situation is going to continue for some time, what might the longer-term implications be for the venue and its staff?

The outlook is bleak. Our margins are super narrow.

Are you able to access any support to help you through this period?

The Chancellor announced some stuff a few days ago – we’re still to crunch the numbers.  Insurance payout seems unlikely.

What can music fans do to help their local venues survive this?

Follow the venues on social media and find out what they’re doing in terms of fundraising or whatever.

A Go Fund Me appeal has been set up to support The Windmill during its closure – you can donate here.

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