An AZ list of Adelaide musicians and how to buy their merch – InDaily

While most live gigs are off the table, you can support the local live music industry by using your purchasing power to pick up t-shirts, tote bags, vinyl, CDs, cassettes and digital releases.


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, arts and recreation industries suffered a near 20 per cent loss in jobs between 14 March and 4 April.

This report doesn’t measure the entire financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic for the creative industries though, as the effects of the crisis will continue to ripple throughout the rest of this year, possibly into the next.

Musicians are a resilient bunch, and despite the industry’s dire situation, and the notable lack of any federal government support for the arts, we’re sure they will inevitably bounce back.

However, while we wait patiently for performers to return to stages, there is a direct way for fans to lend support: buying merch.

Anything your favourite artists have put up for purchase on their website, Facebook or Bandcamp page, you, dear music-lover, can order online immediately.

As outgoing Music SA general manager Lisa Bishop told CityMag previously, as long as musicians can make rent, they’ll find a way to be creative and make music. If you’re a fan of Adelaide’s local musicians and want to help them persist amid the current financial uncertainty of their industry, browse our list of artists below and show your favourites how much you care.

To kick things off, we’ve listed Adelaide artists CityMag has previously profiled. Want to be included? Get in touch.


Image: Tom McCammon

In the studio with Adam Page (17 February 2015)

Adam Page is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist who has a penchant for the flute and experimenting with loops, production and improvisation. You can listen to and buy his music here.



Alana Jagt and the slow burn to success in Adelaide (11 March 2020)

You’ve most probably seen Alana Jagt perform her folk-rock crooners around Adelaide and have probably been dying to find a way to support her while she takes a break from live gigs (though she has been active on Knock Off Sessions and Sunny Side Uploads’ live feeds). Although the Whyalla-born musician’s t-shirts have all sold out, you can buy her music on Bandcamp.



Bec Stevens sings about heartache so you don’t have to (2 May 2019)

Few songwriters sing their heart out like Bec Stevens, and that kind of vicarious catharsis is the perfect antidote to weeks on end spent pacing around the house. CDs, vinyl and digital records are all available for sale here.



A still from Jared Nicholson and Scott Baskett’s documentary

Brenton Torrens: From street to stage (9 May 2018)

Master of bars Brenton Torrens has just released a new hip-hop album, which you can buy here, and it rings with a rawness learned while freestyling on Hindley Street and other 5000 thoroughfares.



Chelsea Lee’s New York state of mind (2 August 2018)

We stumbled upon Chelsea Lee one rainy night on Vardon Avenue, having slipped into NOLA for a beverage to wait for the rain to pass. Venturing upstairs, we found Chelsea Lee leading a quintet and her voice followed us all the way home. Her new album Fargo is available here.



Image: Morgan Sette

Dead Roo: More than shed rock and roadkill (14 November 2019)

This four-piece promised CityMag a new album last we spoke, and while we continue to lie in wait, we’ll be buying their previous collection of Antipodean songs here.



Image: Josh Geelen

DyspOra: The music and the meaning (June 12, 2019)

Not only is Gabriel Akon a rapper, he’s also a multicultural worker who advocates for cohesion within the community. He works at Northern Sound System (also a stomping ground of Elsy Wameyo and Tkay Maidza) and helps other fledging producers and creatives makes moves with his career. You can buy DyspOra’s (old and and new!) music here.



Image: James Hartley

Elsy Wameyo’s ‘Pastor’ is a hymn against cultural erasure (22 April 2020)

Elsy Wameyo is a dynamic performer and writer, and in her most recent work has drawn on her life as a Kenyan migrant, creating music that digs deep into her own life and presents a layered portrait of the African-Australian migrant story for all those who care to listen. She recently dropped a new single, Pastor. You can buy the burner and other work here.



Turned Loose is Horror My Friend at their best (8 July 2019)

Adelaide three-piece Horror My Friend had a great 2019 – their much-lauded single ‘Turned Loose’ took them on a European tour and scored them a SAM Award for Best Song (alongside their Best Group win). A digital version of the song is available for a nifty $1, or grab a vinyl split single for $15 here.



Jess Day has a duty to make sad singles (6 September 2019)

“If you can write songs from your negative experiences, and you are musically inclined, you kind of have a duty to create something because it’s so powerful to help people feel less alone.” Jess Day said that in an interview last year, but boy oh boy does it ring true to what’s going on now. The indie-pop musician has recently released a new single, ‘Signals’ which you can listen to here. Otherwise take a peek at some of her fresh tees.



Image: Andy Nowell

Conquering fears with Late Nite Tuff Guy (21 February 2020)

Cam Bianchetti has a fear of flying, but he doesn’t have a fear of releasing absolute bangers and disco mixes. Although Late Nite Tuff Guy doesn’t have a Bandcamp, have a look through the pages of record distribution website Juno to purchase a vinyl record of ‘The Godfather of Australian Techno.’



Image: Jonno Revanche

Halo and nü-metal: Lonelyspeck on what made them (2 February 2020).

Sione Teumohenga isn’t afraid to say they like pop-punk bands, and why should they be? The dextrous multi-instrumentalist released Abyssal Body last year, and it’s steeped in crushing chord progressions and emotional yet steadfast lyrics. It’s pop punk at its absolute best. Buy a t-shirt here or buy music here.



Max Savage – Nobody Knows My Name (12 June 2019)

Adelaide’s most patriotic citizen, and one helluva country rock musician, Max Savage channels strong Bruce Springsteen vibes (some times more dedicatedly than others). While sadly absent from the live music circuit, you can buy his music here.



Video: Naomi Keyte’s ‘Company’ is a collage of Adelaide creativity (23 August 2018)

Naomi Keyte’s alternative-folk vocals have won her the 2016 National Live Music Award for ‘Best Live Voice SA’ and a slew of other award nominations since the release of her 2017 debut album, Melaleuca. Cop the album and other singles here.



Image: Nick Astanei

Nelson Dialect offering free poetry lessons is the purest thing to come out of the pandemic (24 April 2020).

Nelson Dialect is living in the current epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, New York, but isn’t going to let the doom and gloom of his context stop him doing what he does best: release absolute hip-hop gold. Buy a digital version of his early work here, or an album featuring Danish producer Architech here.



Oisima goes live at Here’s To Now (3 December 2015)

Anth Wendt, also known as Oisima, makes nostalgic, glitchy, electronic music made for anyone looking to be hypnotised. Although he’s a one-man show, expect layer upon layer of jazzy instrumentals that will leave you wondering. You can buy his music here.



Ollie English and the emerging sound of South Australia (19 June 2019)

Our interview with Ollie English took place at a very magical spot in the Adelaide Hills – Andre Ursini’s Villetta Porcini. Ollie’s song ‘Holy Water’ had been chosen to soundtrack an SA tourism commercial by the South Australian Tourism Commission, so we spoke about his emergence within the local music scene. You can purchase Ollie’s records here.



A symphony for Adelaide with Ross McHenry and the ASO (21 February 2019)

Acclaimed and prolific jazz musician Ross McHenry has always been an artist focussed on place, making music of and for Adelaide – admittedly sometimes while on other continents. You can browse his back catalogue here.



Music review: Follow The Path (15 September 2014)

The Shaolin Afronauts are one of Adelaide’s best big bands. With an ever-growing cast of musicians – and costumes – the Afronauts play with afro-funk, soul, jazz and everything in between. Buy their music here.



Image: Claudia Agius

How growing pains made two punk teens supreme (7 November 2019)

Teenagers Tahlia Borg and Cahli Blakers aren’t afraid of making loud noises and being front-and-centre. The pop-punk duo are on the rise to becoming one of Adelaide’s fiercest grunge bands. You can buy their music here.



A view of North America with musician Tom West (4 October 2019)

Tom West makes indie music that’s richly infused with place: it’s for the traveller stretching their limbs and conquering a hill, or swimming in a lake discovered by chance in the clearing of a forest.

Donate to Tom West’s Kickstarter campaign so he can pay the remaining costs of mixing and mastering his up-and-coming album Antarctica after he lost his income from COVID-19. If you donate, you’ll receive exclusive access of the album ahead of it scheduled released in June.



West Thebarton just dropped some very topical merch (16 April 2020)

Although the seven-piece dropped some very topical TP t-shirts that sold out, you can buy stacks of other t-shirts, hoodies and records here.



‘Cuts’ is Wing Defence on the malaise of modern love (17 September 2019)

Skye Walter and Paige Renee Court have a knack for taking the best vibes from ’90s pop-punk and turning it into their own. Their lyrics traverse the sticky realities of Tinder and the production is heavy on the vocals. Buy all their releases here, and t-shirts and tote bags can be bought here.


TMN 30 Under 30: Meet your Sales & Marketing winners – The Music Network

With the finalists, 30 victors and Reader’s Choice champ revealed, it’s time to meet the winners.

After getting to know the Professional Services winners on Wednesday, it’s time to take a look at the three TMN 30 Under 30 heroes from the Sales & Marketing category.

Congratulations to Michael McGahan from Live Nation, Samantha Kariyawasam from Sony Music and Will Blackburn from Universal Music / BRING.

We asked each applicant to outline the biggest challenges facing the music industry and all 30 entries were unique and worth sharing. Responses were given prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

This year’s are made possible thanks to six incredible sponsors, including APRA AMCOS, Eventbrite, MTV, Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music.

Michael McGahan, Live Nation

The music industry in the internet age is still valuable, but the challenging lies in a better distribution of this value to a wider reach of artists, professionals and organisations.

The social media age has brought with it a saturation of outstanding talent to mainstream eyes and ears.

Music as an art form has become more of a competitive space than ever before – consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to recorded and live music. Especially when it comes to live touring, artists who want to play for their fans around the world are faced with the challenge of increasing touring costs and a saturated market.

More ‘good’ music to choose from is a wonderful thing, but the challenge lies in identifying ways of generating ancillary revenue in order to make touring feasible. Examples include brand partnerships that help make it possible to bring music to the masses or unique fan experiences curated with the aim of unlocking more value across more consumer touchpoints.

Finally, I believe the live music industry, in particular, is thriving but in a volatile 21st century, external and environmental factors could quickly and easily stifle consumers’ access to live music.

We’re challenged with building a system robust enough to withstand this volatility and uncertainty, because live music has always been, and should always be open and affordable to everyone.

Samantha Kariyawasam, Sony Music

My role at Sony requires me to focus solely on Hip-Hop, R&B and Korean artists.

At present, outside of streaming platforms, there are very few media outlets that will recognise my artists without a tokenistic approach – whether it be radio, online, TV etc.

I am absolutely living for the new social platforms popping up that are introducing the younger generation to songs that might not otherwise be getting playlisting or airplay. I’m excited to see the industry try and keep up with what the kids are into to further the reach of artists!

The workforce in Australia’s music industry doesn’t presently reflect Australia’s multicultural population. It’s important labels, agencies, and promoters make an active effort to be more inclusive as the new crop of talent from diverse backgrounds need to see themselves reflected within the teams they’re working with.

Will Blackburn, Universal Music / BRING

From an agency perspective, one of the biggest challenges are brands that badge artist culture – but do not contribute to the conversation.

But this also presents an opportunity for agencies like BRING to consider new creative approaches to artist and brand marketing which benefits everyone.

This industry is also challenged by brands’ desire for immediate reach over artist relevance. Too often we see artists boiled down simply to their social and streaming numbers by marketers, instead of considering the benefits of a long-sighted, nurtured partnership which may take a bit more time, but will pay off ten-fold for brands later down the track.

A huge opportunity in my work is to better educate brands on the importance of investing in an artist for the long run, not just a flash in the pan once they’re hot.

Applause: Latest funding and awards announced – ArtsHub

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Let’s talk about #CoronaRacism – ArtsHub

In a collaborative partnership The Asian Australian Alliance, Diversity Arts Australia and Democracy in Colour have devised a new survey to track anti-Asian racist attacks that are linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Diversity Arts Australia stated the survey focuses on ‘racism targeted at people with Chinese/East Asian origins, and people in Australia from Asian backgrounds who are at risk of being attacked’. The survey will be used as a critical tool to develop future campaigns and artist-led projects addressing racism.

To date, the COVID-19 Coronavirus Racism Incident Report Survey: I am not a Virus has received more than 300 respondents. And as of 23 April, ‘81% of the respondents reported that the racist incidents they have experienced were a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.’ 

Initiated by writer and activist Erin Chew, media outlet Being Asian Australian, and advocacy network the Asian Australian Alliance in collaboration with Research Fellow at the Per Capita thinktank and policy analyst/writer Osmond Chiu, the survey has empowered CALD Australians to speak out about their experiences.

Erin Chew told ArtsHub: ‘Speaking out is one of the best ways to combat racism. If you had an experience of racism, if you feel comfortable, write about it on social media, talk about it within your networks.’

Chew said, ‘It is about flooding the internet with these real experiences.’ She encouraged people who were hesitant to share their experiences openly to ‘document it someway – keeping a log will also allow you to see trends, and when you are ready this is something which then can be shared online or among your networks.’

Chew said it was important for these incidences to be highlighted as many victims often felt alone and voiceless in their experience. ‘There are many social media CALD groups which are spaces for CALD people to talk about issues like racism,’ she said. ‘It is also important to be aware of groups and projects which tackle racism, and there is nothing wrong in seeking advice by messaging or emailing them. Any multicultural service can also provide you with advice and support or at least some referral to the relevant support groups.’


Early results of the survey show 86% of respondents did not know the person/people who committed the racism towards them.

‘I was walking my dog and saw two men in front of me and when I crossed them one of the men called out ‘oh no, corona corona corona’. I was a female alone so did not bother engaging and instead continued to walk in the other direction,’ reported a respondent.

81% of respondents reported that they have personally experienced racism and 15% said racism was experienced by someone they know.

‘My friend was walking on the street and got approached by a white male who looked like he was in his 50s. He asked her to go back to China and that ‘her people’ brought the disease here.’

The survey found 38% of racist incidences occurred in a public street or sidewalk, 36% occurred in a business such as a shopping centre or supermarket, 13% occurred on public transport, and incidents also occurred in schools, universities, workplaces and other spaces.

‘I heard a man yelling at me: ‘You f*****g b***h, you do not belong here. What are you f*****g doing here? Go the f*** back to where you belong’. I quickly ran into the restaurant. It was scary because this is right around my neighbourhood and it was late, he was obviously under the influence of alcohol and making threatening gestures,’ survey respondent Lynn Ooi reported.

Chew said that if you witness a racist attack, step in if it’s safe to, or record it with your phone. ‘People may disagree with ‘call out’ culture, but one thing is for sure it does work. Checking on the victim of racism is also important and ensuring they are okay.’

Racist attacks are against the law, and leave lasting emotional and psychological impacts on the victims. ‘There is nothing wrong with making police reports,’ Chew reminded. ‘Another way is to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission or your state anti-discrimination boards. Even if your case comes up as not being further investigated it will at least be recorded.’

Chew encouraged the Australian arts community to stand in solidarity against racism. ‘Supporting groups which fight against racism and raise the importance of Asian Australians/POC Australians/Indigenous Australians is also very important. Only when we can show unity against racism, can the issue be tackled.’

If you would like to share your experience head to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Racism Incident Report survey.

Netflix Australia: MAY 2020 Release Schedule – Screen Realm

Streaming goodness ahead!

Here’s the complete schedule of what’s hitting Netflix Australia in MAY 2020…

(Dates are subject to change)


Casi feliz (1/5/2020)

Sebastián is a radio show host of modest fame, trying to find a way in the world as he deals with his ex-wife (whom he still loves) and two kids.

Into the Night (1/5/2020) – TEASER TRAILER

When the sun suddenly starts killing everything in its path, passengers on an overnight flight from Brussels attempt to survive by any means necessary.

Hollywood (1/5/2020) – TRAILER

A new limited series from Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, Hollywood follows a group of aspiring actors and filmmakers in post-World War II Hollywood as they try to make it in Tinseltown — no matter the cost.

Workin’ Moms: Season 4 (6/5/2020)

Big changes are in the air as the moms stand up for their children, their partners, their businesses — and more importantly, themselves.

Dead to Me: Season 2 (8/5/2020) – TEASER TRAILER

Picking up in the aftermath of that bloody backyard reveal, Jen and Judy struggle to hide a dark secret. With a surprising new visitor in town and Detective Perez hot on their heels, the stakes have never been higher.

The Eddy (8/5/2020) – TRAILER

Set in the vibrant multicultural neighborhoods of modern-day Paris, The Eddy tells the story of the owner of a struggling club, its house band and the dangers they face from the chaotic city that surrounds them.

Valeria (8/5/2020)

A writer in a creative and marital crisis finds refuge and support in her three best friends. Based on the novels by Elisabet Benavent.

Restaurants on the Edge: Season 2 (8/5/2020)

The experts continue on their international restaurant rescue mission. With a little encouragement and a lot of overhaul, miracles can happen.

Rust Valley Restorers: Season 2 (8/5/2020)

Life motors on as Mike and the gang restore a slew of classics, including some good ole Detroit muscle. Also, Avery takes on a new role at the shop.

Bordertown: Season 3 (11/5/2020)

While juggling concerns about his family’s future and a spate of new crimes, Kari squares off against an adversary who’s been studying his past cases.

Chichipatos (15/5/2020)

A magician hired for a party lands in hot water when he makes a drug boss disappear during a performance — but is then unable to make him reappear!

White Lines (15/5/2020)

When her brother is discovered dead, a Manchester woman leaves her quiet life to travel to Ibiza, where she seeks the truth about his disappearance.

Magic for Humans: Season 3 (15/5/2020)

He’s back to pull a rabbit out of a … piñata? Justin Willman always surprises with frisky magic skills that amuse and charm, trick and disarm.

Dérapages (15/5/2020)

Unemployed and desperate to turn his life around, Alain Delambre is ready to do anything to secure a job at corporate giant Exxya.

La reina de Indias y el conquistador (16/5/2020)

Years after Spanish conquistador Pedro de Heredia betrayed her people and broke her heart, indigenous woman Catalina re enters his life to get revenge.

The Big Flower Fight (18/5/2020)

Teams of florists, sculptors and garden designers push their talents to the limit to create extravagant floral installations in this competition show.

Sweet Magnolias (19/5/2020)

Maddie Townsend has a lot on her plate — including three kids, a cheating husband and one unlikely suitor who has everyone in town talking.

History 101 (22/5/2020)

Infographics and archival footage deliver bite-size history lessons on scientific breakthroughs, social movements and world-changing discoveries.

Selling Sunset: Season 2 (22/5/2020)

The reality series that follows LA’s most elite real estate agents returns for Season 2, documenting their juicy private lives, posh listings and high-profile clients.

Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series: Season 2 (22/5/2020)

The animated series returns for Season 2, with the entire gang transformed into cartoons.

Control Z (22/5/2020)

When a hacker begins releasing students’ secrets to the entire high school, the socially isolated but observant Sofía works to uncover his/her identity.

Dynasty: Season 3 (23/5/2020)

The modern-day reboot of the iconic soap that follows two of America’s wealthiest families returns for Season 3.

Space Force (29/5/2020) – TRAILER

A comedy series about the people tasked with creating Space Force, a new branch of the U.S. military. From Greg Daniels and star Steve Carell.

Mystic Pop-up Bar (Coming Soon)

Wol-ju, the bartender, is not of this world, or the underworld—she is the weaver of dreams between worlds. Though she might seem obscene and unhindered to some, she provides solace and advice to the weary souls whose dreams she enters. After a drink with Wol-ju, one feels spirited and able to turn the page on their own misfortunes. At the Mystic Pop-up Bar, she is able to cross the threshold between this world and the other, between past and present, revealing visions that rectify her customer’s suffering.

Blood & Water (Coming Soon)

A 16-year-old gets herself transferred to the same high school as a girl whom she suspects is her sister, who was kidnapped at birth 17 years earlier.


Rick & Morty Season 4 (6/5/2020) – TRAILER

Rick & Morty will be returning May 6 for ANZ with new episodes weekly. Dates below:

  • Episode 406 – May 6
  • Episode 407 – May 13
  • Episode 408 – May 20
  • Episode 409 – May 27
  • Episode 410 – June 3

Snowpiercer (25/5/2020) – TRAILER

In this futuristic thriller, the world has become a frozen wasteland, and the remaining humans inhabit a giant train that perpetually circles the globe.


The Half Of It (1/5/2020)

Shy, straight-A student Ellie helps sweet jock Paul woo his crush. But their unlikely friendship grows complicated when Ellie falls for the same girl.

All Day and a Night (1/5/2020)

While serving life in prison, a young man looks back at the people, the circumstances and the system that set him on the path toward his crime.

Mrs. Serial Killer (1/5/2020)

When a doctor gets jailed for a string of shocking murders, his loyal wife sets out to commit a copycat crime to prove his innocence.

18 regali (8/5/2020)

A pregnant mother with terminal cancer leaves behind 18 sentimental gifts for her unborn daughter to receive every birthday until she reaches womanhood.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Vs. the Reverend – NETFLIX INTERACTIVE SPECIAL (12/5/2020)

Join Kimmy and friends on an interactive adventure!

The Wrong Missy (13/5/2020) – TRAILER

Tim thinks he’s invited the woman of his dreams on a work retreat to Hawaii, realizing too late he mistakenly asked someone from a nightmare blind date.

Te quiero, imbécil (15/5/2020)

After he loses his girlfriend and his job on the same day, a man in his 30s sees his life turned upside down.

The Lovebirds (22/5/2020) – TRAILER

When a couple in the fast lane to splitsville accidentally careens into a murder, they take off on a wild race to find the killer and clear their names.

Rebelión de los Godinez (25/5/2020)

When Omar’s grandfather forces him to get a job at a tech company in Mexico City, he meets a quirky ensemble of nine-to-fivers … and some nemeses.

I’m No Longer Here (27/5/2020)

In the mountains of Monterrey, Mexico, a small street gang named “Los Terkos” spend their days listening to slowed down cumbia music and attending dance parties, showing off their outfits, hairstyles and gang alliances. These different bands of disaffected youth refer to themselves as Kolombianos, combining the Cholo culture with Colombian music. Ulises Samperio (17), the leader of Los Terkos, tries to protect his friends from the nefarious elements of a quickly evolving drug/political war, but after a misunderstanding with a local cartel, he is forced to leave for Jackson Heights, Queens, a diverse immigrant community in New York City. Ulises tries to assimilate, but when he learns that his gang and the whole Kolombia culture is under threat, he questions his place in America and longs to return home.


Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours To Kill (5/5/2020)

Jerry Seinfeld’s new hour-long special, Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill, reinforces his reputation as the precision-craftsman of standup comedy. Premiering on May 5, 2020, only on Netflix, the special features a spectacular arrival to the Beacon Theatre in New York City, and showcases Seinfeld’s sharp angles on everyday life, uncovering comedy in the commonplace.

Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything (19/5/2020)

Like the ancient grains of Babylon, Patton provides a healthy dose of witticism in his newest Netflix comedy special, Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything. Enjoy yourself as the Emmy and Grammy winning comedian reflects on hilarious existential anecdotes after recently embracing his fifties, which includes attending his daughter’s second-grade art show that cost him the chance to board a full-scale Millennium Falcon or how buying a house is like hiring a suicide squad of superhuman subcontractors. Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything premieres globally on Netflix on May 19, 2020. And stick around post-credits for Bob Rubin: Oddities & Rarities, a bonus one-hour comedy special presented by Patton himself!

Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (26/5/2020)

Emmy and Peabody award winning comedian Hannah Gadsby stopped the comedy world in its tracks with her genre bending show, Nanette. Having given herself her very own tough act to follow, she named her difficult second album after her eldest dog and took it for a walk across the planet, finishing up in Los Angeles and recording her second Netflix comedy special, Hannah Gadbsy: Douglas. You can expect your expectations to be set and met by Douglas: a tour from the dog park to the renaissance and back guided by one of comedy’s most sparkling and surprising minds.

Kenny Sebastian: The Most Interesting Person in the Room (Coming Soon)

Fusing his musical and comedy chops, Kenny Sebastian gets analytical about frumpy footwear, flightless birds and his fear of not being funny enough.


Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (11/5/2020)

Celebrities recall their most mind-bending trips via animations, reenactments and more in this comedic documentary exploring the story of psychedelics.

Trial By Media (11/5/2020)

In this true crime documentary series, history’s most dramatic trials are examined with an emphasis on how the media may have impacted verdicts.

Ben Platt Live From Radio City Music Hall (20/5/2020)

Actor and singer Ben Platt performs in a sold-out show recorded at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich (27/5/2020) – TRAILER

Stories from survivors fuel this docuseries examining how convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein used his wealth and power to carry out his abuses.

Somebody Feed Phil: Season 3 (29/5/2020)

“Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal continues to travel the globe, sampling different cuisines and cultures.


Go! Go! Cory Carson: The Chrissy (1/5/2020)

The Carson kids win a talent show with a dance that Cory created. But when “The Chrissy” catches on, his sister gets all of the attention!

Whitestar (8/5/2020)

When Megan and her new horse Whitestar win dressage competitions after a short training, the owner who got rid of Whitestar demands his horse back.

Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Tool Belt (8/5/2020)

This fun, silly series teaches preschoolers about the mechanical world and how things work. Based on Chris Monroe’s picture book series.

The Hollow: Season 2 (8/5/2020)

After discovering the truth behind the Hollow, friends Adam, Mira and Kai must face their fears and tackle even bigger challenges together.

True: Terrific Tales (12/5/2020)

Through the magic of the Story Spinner, True and friends create their own versions of Pinocchio, Little Red Riding Hood and other classic fairy tales.

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Season 5 (15/5/2020)

As the princesses prepare to face Horde Prime and his hive mind army in one final battle, Adora must confront her most elusive adversary yet: herself.


Scissor Seven: Season 2 (7/5/2020)

Hairdresser by day, freelance hit man by night. The series about an underpaid, scissor-wielding assassin who’s not quite cut out for the job returns for Season 2.

Dorohedoro (28/5/2020)

Amnesiac Caiman seeks to undo his lizard head curse by killing the sorcerer responsible, with his friend Nikaido’s help. In the Hole, that’s a threat.


Tomorrow, When The War Began (1/5/2020)

Ellie Linton (Caitlin Stasey), a teen from an Australian coastal town, leads her friends (Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis) on an excursion to a camp deep in the woods, dubbed “Hell.” Upon their return, the youths find that their town has been overrun by an enemy army, and their friends and family have been imprisoned. When the hostile invaders become alerted to their presence, Ellie and her friends band together to escape — and strike back against — this mysterious enemy.

Clash of the Titans (1/5/2020)

Perseus (Sam Worthington), the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), is caught in a war between gods and is helpless to save his family from Hades (Ralph Fiennes), the god of the underworld. With nothing left to lose, Perseus leads a band of warriors on a dangerous quest to prevent Hades from overthrowing the king of the gods and laying waste to Earth.

The Edge of Seventeen (1/5/2020)

Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until an unexpected friendship with a thoughtful teen (Hayden Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all.

Primal Fear (1/5/2020)

Defense attorney Martin Vail takes on jobs for money and prestige rather than any sense of the greater good. His latest case involves an altar boy, accused of brutally murdering the archbishop of Chicago. Vail finds himself up against his ex-pupil and ex-lover, but as the case progresses and the Church’s dark secrets are revealed, Vail finds that what appeared a simple case takes on a darker, more dangerous aspect.

The Color Purple (1/5/2020)

An epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), an African-American woman living in the South who survives incredible abuse and bigotry. After Celie’s abusive father marries her off to the equally debasing “Mister” Albert Johnson (Danny Glover), things go from bad to worse, leaving Celie to find companionship anywhere she can. She perseveres, holding on to her dream of one day being reunited with her sister in Africa. Based on the novel by Alice Walker.

Cracked Up, The Darrell Hammond Story (1/5/2020)

In Cracked Up we witness the effects adverse childhood experiences can have across a lifetime through the incredible story of actor, comedian, master impressionist and Saturday Night Live veteran, Darrell Hammond. Behind the scenes Darrell suffered from debilitating flashbacks, self injury, addiction and misdiagnosis, until the right doctor isolated the key to unlocking the memories his brain kept locked away for over 50 years. Cracked Up, director Michelle Esrick, creates an inspiring balance between comedy and tragedy helping us understand the impact of toxic stress and childhood trauma in a new light, breaking down barriers of stigma and replacing shame with compassion and hope.

Osmosis Jones (1/5/2020)

Mixing live action and animation, the film follows the misadventures of a zoo worker with an unknown malady he contracted after eating an egg contaminated with simian saliva. The responsibility of eradicating this lethal virus falls to a white blood cell cop and a fussy cold-cure pill.

Finding Your Feet (4/5/2020)

When “Lady” Sandra Abbott discovers that her husband of 40 years is having an affair with her best friend, she seeks refuge in London with her estranged, older sister Bif. The two could not be more different – Sandra is a fish out of water next to her outspoken, serial dating, free-spirited sibling. But different is just what Sandra needs at the moment, and she reluctantly lets Bif drag her along to a community dance class, where she starts finding her feet.

The Lovers (7/5/2020)

A man and his wife, each embroiled in an extramarital affair, are sent reeling when they suddenly fall for the least likely person imaginable — each other.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (7/5/2020)

Ethan Hunt and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker to prevent a disaster of epic proportions. Arms dealer John Lark and a group of terrorists known as the Apostles plan to use three plutonium cores for a simultaneous nuclear attack on the Vatican, Jerusalem and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. When the weapons go missing, Ethan and his crew find themselves in a desperate race against time to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

Breaking In (14/5/2020)

Shaun Russell takes her son and daughter on a weekend getaway to her late father’s secluded, high-tech vacation home in the countryside, but the family soon gets an unwelcome surprise when four men break into the house to find hidden money. After managing to escape, Shaun must now figure out a way to turn the tables on the desperate thieves and save her captive children.

Kangaroo Jack (15/5/2020)

Two friends from Brooklyn (Jerry O’Connell), (Anthony Anderson) are forced to deliver mob money to Australia. Their misadventures begin when one of them places his red jacket on a kangaroo while attempting to snap a picture. When the kangaroo bounces off, they realize the mob money is in the jacket and are forced to give chase through the Outback.

Human Nature (15/5/2020)

The biggest tech revolution of the 21st Century isn’t digital, it’s biological. A breakthrough called CRISPR has given us unprecedented control over the basic building blocks of life. It opens the door to curing diseases, reshaping the biosphere, and designing our own children.

The Butterfly Effect (15/5/2020)

College student Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) is afflicted with headaches so painful that he frequently blacks out. While unconscious, Evan is able to travel back in time to difficult moments in his childhood. He can also alter the past for friends, like Kayleigh (Amy Smart), who was molested by her father (Eric Stoltz). But changing the past can drastically alter the present, and Evan finds himself in nightmarish alternate realities, including one where he’s locked away in prison.

National Lampoon’s Vacation (15/5/2020)

Accompanied by their children (Dana Barron, Anthony Michael Hall), Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and his wife, Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), are driving from Illinois to a California amusement park. As Clark increasingly fixates on a beautiful woman driving a sports car, the Griswolds deal with car problems and the death of a family member. They reach Los Angeles, but, when Clark worries that the trip is being derailed again, he acts impulsively to get his family to the park.

Night School (16/5/2020) – OUR REVIEW

Teddy Walker is a successful salesman whose life takes an unexpected turn when he accidentally blows up his place of employment. Forced to attend night school to get his GED, Teddy soon finds himself dealing with a group of misfit students, his former high school nemesis and a feisty teacher who doesn’t think he’s too bright.

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (20/5/2020) – OUR REVIEW

Ten-year-old Lewis goes to live with his oddball uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious `tick tock’ noise. He soon learns that Uncle Jonathan and his feisty neighbour, Mrs Zimmerman, are powerful practitioners of the magic arts. When Lewis accidentally awakens the dead, the town’s sleepy facade suddenly springs to life, revealing a secret and dangerous world of witches, warlocks and deadly curses.

The Little Rascals (22/5/2020)

Mischievous youngsters Spanky (Travis Tedford) and Buckwheat (Ross Elliot Bagley) lead an anti-girl organization, and they pick their buddy Alfalfa (Bug Hall) to represent them in an all-important soapbox car rally. When the boys then find their driver canoodling with schoolmate Darla (Brittany Ashton Holmes), they decide they must break up the couple. Unfortunately, while Spanky and his pals are busy meddling in Alfalfa’s affairs, their prized race car is nabbed by two young toughs.

First Man (23/5/2020)

Hoping to reach the moon by the end of the decade, NASA plans a series of extremely dangerous, unprecedented missions in the early 1960s. Engineer Neil Armstrong joins the space program, spending years in training and risking his life during test flights. On July 16, 1969, the nation and world watched in wonder as Armstrong and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins embarked on the historic Apollo 11 spaceflight.

Halloween (23/5/2020)

On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six year old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith’s Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.

The Kitchen (27/5/2020)

Between 8th Ave. and the Hudson River, the Irish mafia runs 20 blocks of a tough New York City neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen. But for mob wives Kathy, Ruby and Claire, things are about to take a dramatic and radical turn. When the FBI sends their husbands to prison, the three women take business into their own hands by running the rackets and taking out the competition.

The Little Stranger (31/5/2020)

During the long, hot summer of 1948, Dr. Faraday travels to Hundreds Hall, home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. The Hall is now in decline, and its inhabitants — mother, son and daughter — remain haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life. When Faraday takes on a new patient there, he has no idea how closely the family’s story is about to become entwined with his own.

Australian arts online guide: the best livestreams and on-demand comedy, music, theatre, exhibitions and more – ABC News

We miss the arts as much as you do, and while galleries are set to reopen soon there’s still plenty of theatre, comedy, dance, writer’s talks and all that jazz to be found online.

This guide, which will be updated a few times per week, is for the week ahead with recommendations that focus on Australian content, with occasional international gems thrown in too.

There will be a genuine world premiere, live-streaming arts (gold!), streams from the archive, on-demand dates, bite-sized bits of content from Australian artists and theatre companies, and recommendations for the best ‘virtual’ exhibitions (ideally something that gives you the feeling of ‘being there’).

Tuesday May 26

Hannah Gadsby: Douglas
The Aussie comedian’s follow-up to wildly popular Netflix special Nanette is called Douglas (after her eldest dog) and is about the power dynamics, patriarchy and language. It’s on Netflix from today.

Wednesday May 27

Arrears windows (2009) by Destiny Deacon.(Supplied: National Gallery of Victoria)

5pm AEST: Behind the Art of Destiny Deacon
Kuku and Erub/Mer artist Destiny Deacon was set to open her largest ever retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria when the lockdown came into effect; now the exhibition will open in October instead. But in the meantime, NGV is hosting this conversation about her work between curators Myles Russell-Cook (Indigenous Art) and Jane Devery (Contemporary Art), discussing how Deacon uses tragedy and comedy in her art to make sense of the world around her.

8.30pm AEST: Ensemble Offspring
Award-winning Ensemble Offspring are live-streaming a concert of Australian chamber works inspired by the theme of ‘birdsong’, as part of the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall project. That project is about providing a platform for musicians to continue to earn income from their performances – so tickets for this concert are $24.

Weekly, 6pm AEST: Arts Centre Melbourne’s Big Night In with John Foreman
Musical director, composer and pianist John Foreman joins forces with the Aussie Pops Orchestra and guest performers to bring you a weekly musical entertainment show, streaming on the Arts Centre Melbourne website. Tonight’s guests include: pop vocal group Human Nature and drag queen Courtney Act.

My Brilliant Career (1979) is one of the films in this week’s ACMI Cinematheque.(Supplied)

Weekly: ACMI Cinematheque
Each Tuesday, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) Cinematheque announce via their Facebook page a double feature of streaming films, information on where to watch the selected films and accompanying notes for the next day’s virtual cinematheque. You can even watch with friends, via Metastream. This week, two features (and two optional add-on shorts) by Australian director Gillian Armstrong: My Brilliant Career (1979) and The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992).

Weekly, 7pm AEST: Sound Gallery Sessions
Monash University are live-streaming recitals from their David Li Sound Gallery into your home, every Wednesday evening from 7pm. Tonight: acclaimed British concert pianist Yasmin Rowe.

Thursday May 28

7.30pm AEST: Sydney Theatre Company’s No Pay? No Way!
Marieke Hardy’s brilliant adaptation of Dario Fo’s subversive absurdist comedy had to end its Opera House run early due to the COVID closures. Next best thing? Enjoy this cast reading, featuring STC favourites Glenn Hazeldine and Helen Thomson alongside Catherine Vn-Davies, Rahel Romahn and Aaron Tsindos. Pay-what-you-can prices start at $0.

Weekly, 7.30pm AEST: MSO Live
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra releases a recent performance from their archive every week on their YouTube channel.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra are resurfacing their 2017 concert with Kate Miller-Heidke.(Supplied: MSO/Daniel Aulsebrook)

Friday May 29

7.30pm AEST: The State of Music (live stream)
The Victorian Government is bringing you free online gigs with musicians every weekend. Tonight: The Rubens, Abby Dobson, D’Arcy Spiller, Fergus James, Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows with Jade Macrae, Lime Cordiale, Mansionair, Mitch King, Nic Cester & The Milano Elettrica, Odette, Something For Kate and more. Stream on the state government website and social media; you can also catch up on previous gigs.

The Rubens headline this week’s State of Music, which will be hosted by Jane Gazzo and Tim Blackwell.(Giulia McGauran)

8pm AEST: The IsoLate Late Show
Every Friday Brisbane cabaret company Little Red presents a live concert, raising money for the Actors’ and Entertainers’ Benevolent Fund QLD. Hosted by entertainer Naomi Price, previous guests have included Katie Noonan, Queensland’s chamber orchestra Camerata, Wesley Enoch and the casts of Six the Musical and Book of Mormon. Head to their Facebook page to catch the live stream and past performances.

9.05pm AEST: In Concert Together: National Reconciliation Week
Reconciliation Australia and ABC Radio are putting on “an hour of deadly music” to celebrate this year’s National Reconciliation Week 2020. Hosted by Christine Anu (tune in via her Evenings show on ABC Radio or the ABC Radio local and Reconciliation Australia Facebook pages) with performances from Busby Marou, Alice Skye, and Jimblah.

G — a reworking of Giselle — will be available to stream for 48 hours.(Supplied: Australian Dance Theatre/Ashley De Prazer)

Fortnightly: Australian Dance Theatre ADAPT
Adelaide-based company Australian Dance Theatre release a work from the archive each fortnight on Fridays, as part of their new online season ADAPT. This is a rare chance to see contemporary Australian dance for free. Sign up to the ADAPT newsletter and ADT will deliver a new show to your inbox fortnightly on Fridays. Today, they’re releasing a 2013 recording of their show G — available for 48 hours.

Weekly: Prototype Care Package
Every Friday until mid-June, Prototype will be delivering new, specially commissioned screen works (including short experimental films and video art) to your email inbox for you to watch over the next week. Sign up on the Prototype website.

Saturday May 30

Neo-soul singer Kaiit will be closing out These Digital Times.(Supplied: Melbourne International Jazz Festival)

12pm to 10.30pm: These Digital Times
The 22nd Melbourne International Jazz Festival was scheduled to run this week, but instead they’ll be presenting an online music festival on the last Saturday of May, June and July. The free festival includes panels and performances with local and international artists, live-streamed on the festival’s website. The May line-up includes multi-ARIA award-winning vocalist Kate Ceberano, the album launch for saxophonist Julien Wilson’s STOCK project and neo-soul vocalist Kaiit.

Weekly: Poet Laureates of Melbourne
The Melbourne City of Literature office will be sending out a new poem by a different poet straight to your inbox every Saturday. Sign up for your weekly dose of poetry reflecting on and responding to these strange times.

Weekly, 12.55pm AEST: Isol-aid music festival
Head over to Isol-aid’s Instagram towards the end of the week to see who will be appearing in the latest edition of this weekly weekender. Previous iterations of the festival have seen Courtney Barnett, Ngaiire and Missy Higgins perform pared-down 20-minute live sets from their homes.

Comedian Steph Tisdell (and presumably her cat) will be appearing in the final episode of Stan’s Australian Comedy Lockdown Special.(Supplied: Stan)

Weekly, 7pm AEST: Australian Comedy Lockdown Special
In Stan’s four-part comedy special, six comedians perform short stand-up sets from their homes. The fourth and final episode is emceed by Wil Anderson and features sets from Claire Hooper, Sam Campbell, Steph Tisdell, Michelle Brasier, and newcomer Blake Freeman. 

Weekly, sunset-sunrise AEST: Spectra live stream
Every Saturday from sunset to sunrise, MONA streams Ryoji Ikeda’s light and sound artwork Spectra on the MONA website.

A view of Spectra light show by Japanese sound and light artist Ryoji Ikeda, for Dark Mofo in 2018.(Supplied: MONA/Jesse Hunniford)

Sunday May 31

Weekly, 1.55pm AEST: Isol-aid music festival
Head over to Isol-aid’s Instagram towards the end of the week to see who will be appearing in the latest edition of this weekly weekender.

Recent releases available on demand:

James and the Giant Peach
Roald Dahl’s story of a boy, a bunch of insects and a giant peach is being read by Taika Waititi and a drop-in cast of pals and peers that includes Liam and Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson, Eddie Redmayne, Kumail Nanjiani and Tessa Thompson, among others. The catch? They wouldn’t mind if you donated to Partners in Health.

Movie Night
Sydney’s Golden Age cinema have now launched Movie Night, a curated online collection of films to rent. They’ll be adding new titles weekly, but right now you can watch documentaries about the cats of Istanbul (Kedi) or the life of 89-year-old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (Kusama: Infinity) — plus there’s a bunch of indie films from Australia and elsewhere. This week’s featured films are Non-Fiction and The Trip to Greece.

Stream the acclaimed UK production of A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Australian Benedict Andrews and starring Gillian Anderson.(Supplied: National Theatre/John Persson)

National Theatre at Home
London’s National Theatre have been resurfacing their recent repertoire via filmed performances released on YouTube for a limited period. Australian director Benedict Andrews’ note-perfect production of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, with Gillian Anderson as the tormented Blanche DuBois, is available for few more days (check out this interview with Andrews on RN’s The Stage Show).

Love in Lockdown
Stream this new isolation romcom web series told entirely over Zoom and FaceTime and made over 17 days during lock down, starring Lucy Durack and Eddie Perfect.

ABC Arts on iview
On Arts iview you can stream productions by Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company.

The Australian Ballet digital season
From May28-June 11 you can stream two performances from The Australian Ballet archive: La Sylphide, one of the oldest existing ballets, choreographed by Danish master August Bournonville, about a ill-fated romance between a ‘sprite’ of the air and a mortal man; and the quintessential classical ballet Paquita, choreographed by French master Marius Petipa.

STC Virtual
This series by Sydney Theatre Company features bite-sized videos made by their artists and former collaborators during lockdown. The latest drop of episodes includes Hugo Weaving performing a soliloquy from Hamlet, and Richard Wherret Fellow Shari Sebbens and Luke Carroll performing a scene from Kylie Coolwell’s Battle of Waterloo.


Together in Art
The Art Gallery of NSW Together in Art project features online performances, artist interviews and art how-to-guides. They’ve recently added an online exhibition of newly commissioned artworks (From My Window) and a video (above) that gives you a fly-on-the-wall perspective of conservator Simon Ives cleaning an Arthur Streeton painting.

Visual arts online:

White Gilt 2.5
After his exhibition closed due to the COVID-19 shutdown in March, Perth artist Nathan Beard and Sydney artist-run gallery Firstdraft have uploaded a virtual version on Nintendo Switch’s hit game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. On Saturday May 30, Beard will open his fantasy island of Slovetzia to Animal Crossing players, so they can attend the premiere of his exhibition White Gilt 2.5. Sign up via Firstdraft, and they’ll share visiting hours and details in the days leading up to the opening.

Marking Time explores mark-making and drawing in Indigenous art from prehistoric to contemporary times.(Supplied: National Gallery of Victoria)

Marking Time: Indigenous Art from the NGV
As part of the National Gallery of Victoria’s suite of immersive virtual tours of its exhibitions, you can check out this showcase of their Indigenous art collection, which includes video by Hannah Brontë, animation by Josh Muir, neon works by Brook Andrew, and paintings by Richard Bell and Reko Rennie.

Do It (Australia)
Kaldor Public Art Projects has launched the best possible lock-down art project: they asked a line-up of Australian artists, performers, musicians, architects, writers and choreographers to create a set of instructions that each audience member can follow from the safety of their home. Julia Jacklin’s “turn crying into acting” is a particular favourite. Do It is an ongoing international project started in 1993 by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier. Do it (Australia) features instructions by Rafael Bonachela, Jonathan Jones, Janet Laurence, Ian Milliss, Tracey Moffatt, Glenn Murcutt, Gerald Murnane and more.

Confined (May 14-June 7)
This year, this annual showcase of artworks made by Indigenous artists currently in or recently released from prison will be available online. The exhibition features 300 works from 286 artists “depicting Indigenous perspectives on identity, art, connection to culture and Country,” with 100 per cent of the sales going directly to individual artists.

At the centre of Watami Manikay is a larrakitj, a kind of hollow log that was originally made to house the remains of a deceased person.(Supplied: The Mulka Project)

Watami Manikay
The Yolngu artists of Arnhem Land-based multimedia collective The Mulka Project have created an incredible, immersive digital version of their work for the Biennale of Sydney. Their powerful installation Watami Manikay (Song of the Winds) mixes song, video and animation to express their manikay (ancestral songs). It’s the closest most of us will get to being on country where these artists live, in north-east Arnhem Land.

Pulse of the Dragon
This group exhibition at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre features a line-up of Chinese and Chinese-Australian artists whose work explores themes of “religious witchcraft”, folklore and mythology in Chinese culture, curated by Chinese Australian artist Guan Wei and his Beijing peer Cang Xin.

Biennale of Sydney
The Museum of Contemporary Art have brought their part of the Biennale online, with a selection of artworks and galleries now available as 360-degree virtual experiences.

The Biennale of Sydney’s exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art includes bark paintings by Noŋgirrŋa Marawili.(Supplied: Biennale of Sydney/Ken Leanfore)

Rite of Passage
Eleven contemporary Aboriginal artists (including Glennys Briggs, Megan Cope, and Karla Dickens) reflect on the 250 years since James Cook’s arrival in this now online exhibition at QUT Art Museum in Brisbane.

Coronavirus-related racism against Chinese Australians is abhorrent – The Canberra Times

How the coronavirus pandemic could shift the multicultural make-up of our society – ABC News

Excluding international students and migrant workers from emergency economic measures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic could lead to unintended economic consequences, migration experts have warned.

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told international students and temporary visa holders they should “return to their home countries” if they were not able to support themselves in Australia.

The message was a jarring one for many in Australia’s million-strong migrant workforce, and demographers warn the stance could cause the country’s economy to take a post-pandemic hit, as well as alter the multicultural fabric of Australian society.

There are also concerns that Australia’s lacklustre response to international students’ needs could push them away and deal a blow to Australia’s fourth-largest export sector.

International education contributed $37.6 billion to the economy in the last financial year and supported 240,000 jobs, according to Government figures.

David Bogi, from India, said he had saved up and worked hard to be able to study at the University of Melbourne.(Supplied)

Melbourne University student David Bogi, who came from India to study a masters of international journalism in Australia, told the ABC he was “not surprised” but “extremely disheartened” by Mr Morrison’s message.

Mr Bogi was one of more than 750,000 international students Australia hosted last year, with the majority from China and India.

Mr Bogi said he paid significant university fees and also contributed to the economy by working and paying taxes, adding that those who paid taxes should also be eligible to receive benefits.

While he had saved scrupulously to study in Australia, he said his savings was now depleting rapidly after he lost his job due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s a familiar story for Yunan Lin, who is studying a master’s degree in engineering at the University of Melbourne.

Yunan Lin said he was also “greatly disappointed” with Mr Morrison’s message.(Supplied)

The 24-year-old lost his only source of income after losing his part-time job at a restaurant when it switched to selling just takeaway.

Mr Lin said he was also “greatly disappointed” with Mr Morrison’s message, especially as he had made the effort to transit through Thailand — and stay there for 14 days — before being allowed to return Australia to study and work to pay his rent.

“Mr Morrison simplified the issue or had no awareness of the complexity of this problem.

“We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to study in Australia, but this developed country — which teaches about humanitarianism and democracy — cannot understand how much our families have suffered in this global pandemic.”

Mr Lin’s parents are also struggling financially after being forced to close their restaurant back in his hometown in China for months.

Economic shocks and costs

Dr Liz Allen said Australia would also be “economically and culturally poorer” as a result of near-zero international migration.(ABC News: Michael Barnett)

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said there was an expectation international students could support themselves in the first year. Those who have been in Australia for more than 12 months will be able to access their superannuation.

According to the Department of Home Affairs website, international students need to have enough money to pay for 12 months of living costs for them and any family members who travel with them to Australia.

The Department estimated that to be $21,041 per student or guardian.

Global migration expert Anna Boucher, who has written about COVID-19 posing a “migration crisis”, said some people working in the sector believe the “asset testing” — or cost of living benchmark — for students looking to study in Australia was quite low.

“One argument is that they’re expected to be frugal, another is it’s unrealistic,” said Dr Boucher, an associate professor at the University of Sydney.

“It allows a high number of students to gain admission, but then they’re really reliant on those part-time jobs.

According to a recent survey by Unions NSW, half of the migrant workers surveyed have lost their jobs, while a fifth have had their hours reduced.

Dr Boucher added it was possible for the impact of COVID-19 on international students in Australia to be “a game changer” for how students make their decisions on where to study in the future.

Brian Schmidt, Vice-Chancellor of Australian National University, told the ABC’s RN Breakfast that student numbers at the university were already down by about 10 per cent, which was currently “manageable”.

“But the uncertainty of the second semester, where the full force of the COVID-19 pandemic hits our students, I think we do not know whether or not we’re going to have that 10 per cent hit or 40 or 50 per cent, we just cannot tell.”

ANU and Melbourne University are among several tertiary institutions to have created emergency relief funds for students.

Mr Schmidt said universities will need to continue working with the Government over the next few months to find a solution.

“We’re going to need to find a way forward, because if we don’t there will be universities [that will be] a shadow of their former selves, the system will be a shadow of its former self.”

Mr Schmidt also pointed out that many students had no other options and couldn’t go back to their countries, even if they wanted to.

“The universities are carrying the can right now, but it is something that we need to work with government and I think we both have responsibility in this area, but it’s a shared responsibility.”

‘Australia will be economically and culturally poorer’

Australia could become more insular as a result of the pandemic.(ABC News: Tegan Osborne)

Dr Boucher said for high-migration countries like Australia, immigration is “interconnected with every single aspect of the economy”.

She noted that Australia’s 2019 budget estimates showed an underlying assumption in the budget surplus calculation tied to high levels of net overseas migration (NOM), estimated to rise to 263,000 in 2022.

But as the Government also put an annual cap on permanent entry in 2019 at 160,000, she argued that the bulk of that NOM can now be expected to come from temporary migrants “who are also lucrative to the state of the budget as net contributors to Australia”.

“Most temporary migrants are workers who pay tax. Fewer are of schooling or retirement age, so they place less pressure on social services, from which they are often excluded in any case through a general requirement to take out health insurance,” she wrote.

Liz Allen, a demographer from ANU, said Australia would also be “economically and culturally poorer” as a result of near-zero international migration due to border lockdowns.

“Nativism is likely to creep in and take greater hold, resulting in a rise of racism and discriminatory practises,” she said.

She said Australia “desperately needed” migrants to stay and contribute to maintaining the economy and, in time, rebuilding after the pandemic passes.

“But the lack of social and economic supports could see migrants leave the country in pursuit of better options,” she said.

Dr Allen added she was hopeful that Australians would confront any growth in racism, but that it required good leadership from government and community to do so effectively.

“Whether we like it or not, admit it or not, Australia still has a problem with white Australia policy sentiments,” she said.

“Australia still has white Australia hang-ups: many people in Australia were raised during the white Australia policy, raised by those who grew up under the white Australia policy, or socialised into the false notion Australia is a white nation with a white history.

A Department of Home Affairs spokesperson said in a statement the “Government’s current focus is on keeping Australians in work and business as we battle the impacts of COVID-19”.

They said the Government had also announced changes to temporary visa holder arrangements on April 4 “in order to protect the health of our community, safeguard job opportunities for Australians, support critical industries … and assist with rapid recovery post-virus.”

Those changes include enabling most temporary visa holders with work rights to access their Australian superannuation and allowing international students to work up to 40 hours per fortnight.

“Australia is a successful multicultural country built on many waves of formal migration post-World War II,” the spokesperson said.

“Migration makes a substantial contribution to Australia’s economic prosperity, national wellbeing and social cohesion.

“The Government is closely monitoring migration and visa settings to ensure they are consistent with public health measures, are flexible, and do not displace job opportunities for Australians so that Australia can deal with the immediate and post recovery impacts of COVID-19.”

‘Treated as lower-class residents’

Wenli is in Australia from Wuhan on a working holiday visa.(Supplied)

Wenli, who is in her 30s and comes from Wuhan — the initial epicentre of the outbreak — is one of many Asians in Australia who have expressed concern about increased racism due to COVID-19.

She is on a working holiday visa and lost her job at a tourist company in North Queensland around three weeks ago.

She had worked for the company for eight months full-time but was denied any compensation for being laid off and was not eligible for any social welfare benefits.

For now, she has relocated to Sydney.

“I was also worried about violence against Asians [in regional areas]. It was reported a lot in the news lately. I think Sydney is safer,” she said.

She said Mr Morrison’s stance on temporary visa holders like her “is legal and has logic”, but still stung.

“International students and people on temporary visas are treated as lower-class residents. I felt like after living in Australia for a while, I’m now used to this.”

And it’s not just international students and working holiday visa holders who are struggling.

Professor Boucher said she couldn’t “think of a single area of migration that is not affected” by COVID-19 in Australia.

In parts of Australia where there are adequate support services, migrant workers have lead to positive growth for rural towns.(Tom Edwards)

There has been some reprieve for some workers, however, with the Government announcing last Saturday they would allow Pacific seasonal workers whose visas were due to expire to stay and work in Australia for another 12 months.

“This will enable them to support themselves and continue to make a critical contribution to Australia’s agriculture sector and food security,” according to a statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Alex Hawke, Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

“Pacific and Timorese workers are highly valued by agricultural employers, who have made it clear they want Pacific workers to be able to remain here and continue working.

While seasonal workers have received support from the Government, many temporary migrants are still waiting for good news.

“There’s a broader question around when do we become responsible for people,” Dr Boucher said.

“Instead of just throwaway comments like ‘go home’, I think we need to go back to ‘OK, we can’t help everybody, but we do have an obligation to some’.

Additional reporting by Erin Handley

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The Virus

Degraded and demoralised: the arts companies left behind – Limelight Magazine

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shut down performances across the country, the news that innovative new music group Ensemble Offspring would not be receiving support through the Australia Council for the Arts’ Four Year Funding for Organisations program was a blow for Artistic Director Claire Edwardes. “We are absolutely devastated,” she tells Limelight.

The Australia Council’s announcement revealed 95 organisations receiving funding for the years 2021-2024, well down from the 128 organisations listed in the 2016 round – which was itself dubbed Black Friday for the 62 organisations who lost their funding that year. With the industry having essentially been ground to a halt by the COVID-19 crisis, the Australia Council has reduced the new cohort’s first year of funding to 70% in order to offer the 49 newly unfunded organisations an extension of one year’s funding, also at a reduced a reduced rate of approximately 70%. The list of companies whose funding will come to an end after this extension period includes the Art Gallery of South Australia, Australian Book Review, Australian Theatre for Young People, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Melbourne’s La Mama Theatre, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Queensland Art Gallery, Sydney Writers’ Festival, The Song Company and more.

Ensemble Offspring Artistic Director Claire Edwardes performing at Kontiki Racket in 2019. Photo © Christopher Hayles

Less than a month ago, Ensemble Offspring was honoured with a prestigious Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award, so the loss of funding came as a surprise. “To be honest it was pretty unexpected based on the feedback we had been getting from both funding bodies and audiences in recent times,” Edwardes says. “We should have prepared ourselves better given these funding rounds are indeed a lottery. There is simply not enough funding to go around so the peers are forced into what must be an awful situation whereby they have to choose between different forms and modes of excellence. It is really hard – for everyone.”

The loss of funding means Ensemble Offspring will have to completely change the way it operates. “We had grown administratively and our program had also strengthened in the past four years with our last round of successful funding – we even had an office! So all of that will have to be reviewed. Our programs for emerging artists (including Hatched Academy) as well as our Kontiki Racket Festival, which we had planned to make annual, will be the hardest hit as much of our core funding was funnelled into those initiatives. We will obviously work very hard to find money elsewhere but it is a big hit to our program to suddenly not have that ongoing national government support.”

Like all of the organisations who will no longer be on Four Year funding, Ensemble Offspring will benefit from the contract extension. “It is obviously better than being defunded from the end of 2020,” Edwardes says. “That said, due to COVID-19 I think the Australia Council realised that if there was no transitional funding supplied we would all be in a situation whereby none of our 2020 programs could be realised, and that is just too depressing for words. So this transitional funding definitely brings some respite.”

For Edwardes, the cuts don’t bode well for the sector. “The sheer fact that only one NSW music organisation was funded [New Musicals Australia & Hayes Theatre Co, one of 28 organisations new to the Four Year funding program] is a death knell for NSW music making,” Edwardes says. “The other slightly alarming statistic on the successful music organisations was the lack of female leadership among them – especially given Ensemble Offspring’s work on gender equity in music, this is particularly disappointing. Our national service body, the Australian Music Centre, was successful, which is just great for Australia composers, but the fact remains that if there are virtually no actual ensembles funded to perform the music of these living composers there is a big gap. The ecosystem in NSW is now broken and an investment from the state will be more important than ever now to keep new music making alive in NSW.”

Another company to lose its funding was The Song Company, which was in danger of folding last year before the intervention of a significant donor. “The Song Company is Australia’s only national professional vocal ensemble, so to lose federal government funding on this scale is a real kick in the teeth,” Artistic Director Antony Pitts tells Limelight. “However, we knew some time ago that we weren’t even being considered for this funding round after our Expression of Interest was rejected, so we had already come to terms with the blow and have been planning accordingly. Essentially, we had our major existential crisis a year before those other ensembles who are now feeling the shock. We have already developed, and are working to, a new strategic model that takes into account this level of setback. But at the same time we totally share their pain and incredulity!”

The Song Company’s most recent success was its performance at the Adelaide Festival as part of the 150 Psalms event, performing alongside international ensembles including The Tallis Scholars – an undertaking that would simply not be possible without major financial input, Pitts says. “Without a serious reconsideration of federal support for the small-to-medium arts sector, we won’t be able to tour nationally as regularly over the coming years,” he explains. “Simply put, we will be unable confidently to plan national tours without new support from state and local agencies to make up for the lack of federal funding. On the plus side, this means engaging with local communities more to build audiences in each centre and over the longer-term could make our new touring model more sustainable.”

“The Arts funding arena is already so ridiculously competitive and the small-to-medium organisations – i.e. the ones that are actually doing new and original work – are already unfairly weighted against,” Pitts says. “Australia’s geography makes any kind of national arts activity extremely costly, which is why the Federal Government needs to support the arts wholeheartedly and substantially.”

For Pitts, private philanthropy can’t be expected to make up the difference, and he sees the lack of a titled Department of the Arts and fully-focused role of Arts Minister (Paul Fletcher is Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts) as “a fundamental part of the problem at a national level”.

“We rely partly, but very significantly, on government funding to fulfil our mission to create, educate, and collaborate: music-making at a world-class level and immersive mentoring of the next generation of Australian singers,” Pitts says. “I just hope we can do just that.”

The cuts have hit the youth arts sector particularly hard, with Gondwana Choirs – who lost their multi-year funding in the 2016 Black Friday round – missing out again this round. “We were incredibly disappointed,” Executive Director Bernie Heard tells Limelight. “We had put a significant amount of resources and effort into the application. Getting through the EOI and then to the final stage is a large body of work that involves everyone from the board right through the whole senior management team and the rest of the team. We really gave it our full effort.”

Gerib Sik and the Gondwana Indigenous Choir at the Gondwana World Choral Festival. Photo © Robert Catto

“Since losing the Australia Council multi-year funding in 2016, we’ve had extremely limited government support. We are grateful to receive multi-year funding through Create NSW,” says Heard, who puts overall government funding at about eight percent of the organisation’s income each year. “That has meant that the organisation has had to work extremely hard to diversify our income. We work extremely hard to receive project funding through private donations, through trusts and foundations, and we’ve worked to increase our corporate support – that is an increasingly difficult market to be in, and certainly now with COVID-19 as it is. I guess we are more vulnerable to the impact of the shut downs on the industry because we are so much more reliant on corporate and private funds.”

Gondwana Choirs regularly commissions new works by Australian and international composers, and last year launched the first Gondwana World Choral Festival. “We certainly don’t want to change the way that we’re presenting new work, but it is increasingly difficult to provide the resources and the framework within our operations team and our administration to present these projects when we’re continuing to be stretched within our team,” Heard says. “I’m concerned about what this means for the future of the organisation.”

The results of this funding round leave Heard concerned for the arts sector as a whole, but also the youth arts sector. “There’s been continued reduction in support for youth arts organisations,” she says. “But I’m also concerned for the music sector as well.”

Many of the organisations who have missed out on funding, like Ensemble Offspring and Pinchgut Opera, feed into the larger arts community. “We’re all part of the ecosystem, which includes the major organisations who engage us to collaborate with them,” Heard says. “We train their professional artists and provide training for the composers who work with them. But we also provide employment to a whole range of artists and composers as well – we have a number of artists who work for us on salary, but we work with up to 90 independent artists in projects and ongoing programs throughout the year.”

Another youth arts company losing its funding is Australian Theatre for Young People. “It’s an extraordinary decision,” ATYP’s Artistic Director Fraser Corfield tells Limelight. “It’s very hard to take in, that one.”

The company is already looking at ways to move forward. “One of the things that’s quite extraordinary about it is that it’s been really difficult for the arts in general, since Brandis’s intervention into arts funding and the upheaval that that has caused the whole of the arts sector, and the youth arts sector in particular,” he says.

For ATYP this is exacerbated by the fact that the organisation is between venues, while its new home – alongside Bell Shakespeare and the Australian Chamber Orchestra – is built on Sydney’s Pier 2/3. The company will move in the year that it loses its Australia Council funding. “So it has serious potential consequences for us, depending on what kind of solutions we can find,” Corfield says.

While Corfield describes ATYP as “an extraordinarily resilient company” – which, he says, has been working hard to meet the new reality of delivering workshops and other offerings online –  “there’s no doubt that it’s challenging on morale, and it’s devastating for the whole of the arts sector.”

“Australian Theatre for Young People I think is very clearly recognised as an essential part of the theatre ecology in Australia,” Corfield says. “We’re the largest investor in playwriting and commissions of new work, we are the larger investor in the development of emerging playwrights, and most of the playwrights that have emerged into our professional companies over the last decade have come through ATYP’s programs, or have certainly been touched by them. Young artists from very young ages step off ATYP stages and workshops and straight into leading professional productions, film and television. So ATYP is recognised as a very important component of the wider industry. So for this to impact us in the way it has, reflects that there is significant challenges that are industry wide.”

These challenges are part of an escalating crisis in the arts. “What we’re seeing is this ongoing contraction, and it’s hit a point that is now critical,” Corfield says. “I started working in youth arts in 2001. In 2007 there were 21 federally funded youth theatre companies. As a result of this funding round there’ll be three. With the constant reduction in funded companies is a constant reduction in opportunities for paid work, to keep professional artists moving. We’re already at a point where the industry is in a really critical phase. Unless there can be found some way of providing new opportunities for some of our key organisations, it’s difficult to see how the arts will be a sustainable industry in the years going forward.”

The survival of youth arts organisations is a concern shared by the National Advocates for Arts Education, which is calling for a significant increase in the Australia Council’s budget – as part of a set of stimulus measures proposed by an alliance of organisations across the industry – to save Australia’s arts industry from collapse. “The arts funding cuts represent a grave loss to the cultural lives of young Australians in metropolitan, regional and remote Australia,” said NAAE Chair John Nicholas Saunders in a statement. “Arts organisations play a significant role in the education sector, through the vast range of exceptional education and community programs they offer, as well as professional development opportunities for teachers. The funding cuts will significantly reduce these opportunities, as the future of many of the companies that were unsuccessful in receiving Four Year funding is now in serious jeopardy.”

“Youth arts investment has been decimated, damaging career pathways,” he said. “NAAE has great concerns about the impact on arts education and young people who are seeking to work in the arts industry.”

Christopher Lowrey in Pinchgut Opera’s Farnace. Photograph © Brett Boardman

It’s not just the companies losing funding who are suffering – other organisations have poured significant resources into the application process only to have it come to nothing. One organisation hoping to receive Four Year funding for the first time in this round was innovative period opera company Pinchgut Opera, who just last year won the Rediscovered Work category at the International Opera Awards for their production of Adolph Hasse’s Artaserse. “We are all disappointed as we felt that the application was really strong,” Helyard tells Limelight. “We were hoping multi-year funding would allow us to build on our growing international reputation, with invitations for collaborations in England and France, as well as solidify and expand our national profile beyond Sydney. We have always been small but we’re all continually working beyond capacity. Funding can alleviate that and helps us grow employment and performance opportunities for artists, in addition to increasing our audience reach.”

“We have never received multi-year state or federal government support, so in many respects this leaves us where we left off,” he says. “Committed and passionate is what Pinchgut is all about! We rely on our supporters and our audiences for income and as our capacity to perform has been squashed by the pandemic, our box office has been put completely put on hold. I think the hardest thing going forward for the entire sector is the uncertainty about timelines regarding the restrictions around mass gatherings and forecasting when audiences will feel safe to return to theatres.”

As for what this funding round means for the arts sector, “I think the goals of multi-year funding have radically changed recently, partly in response to COVID-19 but also partly in response to a shift in federal arts policy,” Helyard says. “That change has left a lot of companies like Pinchgut stranded. Certainly it will put stress on an already degraded and demoralised sector. I congratulate those who have received funding and commiserate with those that have lost funding or missed out entirely like us.”

Even amongst the organisations who have received Four Year funding, there is a sense of deep concern for the industry. “We are very sorry to see many valued friends and partners lose their funding at this critical time, and add our voice to the calls for additional government support for the arts,” said Multicultural Arts Victoria in a statement. “The creative industries are an interconnected, dynamic system of cultural production and consumption. If we weaken its parts, we weaken the whole.”

The Australian Music Centre also released a statement from its board and team in the wake of the announcement that it was successful in its bid for funding. “While we are relieved and excited, this news is also bittersweet. We acknowledge with great regret that our welcome news is not necessarily matched for other friends, colleagues and organisations across the country,” the statement said.

The AMC has pledged to act immediately in support of its community by announcing $10,000 of commissions, including two Peggy Glanville-Hicks Addresses to take place in 2020 instead of one, and eight commissions of online content from artists, ensembles or organisations. The AMC is also donating $25,000 from its reserves to the industry relief charity Support Act.

“We understand the responsibility that our good fortune entails,” the AMC said.