The ‘social distancing’ measures in response to the COVID-19 virus announced by the Australian and state governments will have a significant effect on the performing arts industry. Companies large and small will be denied the opportunity to present works which they have spent months preparing and in which they have invested substantial funds. Many companies will be placed under extreme financial pressure and will need to take drastic measures to survive. Large numbers of artists and people who depend on the industry face an immediate shortage of work.
Limelight is affected by these measures. Performing arts companies support Limelight financially through advertising and through access to performing artists, and a good deal of Limelight’s content consists of live reviews. As a result, Limelight will publish online content only for at least the next month; we will not publish a print edition in May 2020 nor, if necessary, in June either. Publishing only online will allow us to consolidate our resources for the survival of Australia’s flagship publication for classical music and the allied performing arts. It goes without saying that we greatly value all our subscribers and readers. One way to continue supporting us through this difficult time is to take up our half-price digital subscription for $3 a month. We will resume our regular print offering as soon as we are able to.
If you are a subscriber and are unsure of how to access your digital subscription, step-by-step instructions are on our website and our team is here to talk you through the process. For assistance, please fill out the form under How to use our website and one of our staff will get in touch.
Online we will continue publishing reviews of performances taking place, features on artists and companies and the latest classical music news from around the world as well as access to our archive.
Performing artists are creative, and Limelight will do all we can to support innovative ways for artists to continue providing music and enjoyment to the public in the unusual circumstances we now face. If you are working on a digital showcase, live streaming a concert or event, sharing a recording of a performance, performing live or undertaking any other project, please email information about it to our General Manager, Cara Anderson ([email protected]) or our Editor, Jo Litson ([email protected]).
Notwithstanding the effect of the social distancing measures, Limelight supports the Australian government in its attempt to manage a public health emergency with the best available expert advice. No doubt, well after the emergency has passed, we will be able to look back and reflect on how we could have done things better. No doubt flaws and inconsistencies in the approach will be identified and discussed. However now is not the time to debate these issues – performing arts companies are just one of many sectors deeply affected and we should stay focused on the overall public good.
So please get online, follow our continuing coverage and take the opportunity to enjoy our amazing archive of features, news and reviews. The sun will soon shine again, and music will once again fill our hearts and souls.
Robert Veel and Bruce Watson