HOW COVID-19 HAS CHANGED THE ART OF MUSIC PERFORMANCE
Last year was a year unlike anything we’ve seen before. The catastrophic effect of COVID-19 on the arts and entertainment industry was felt not just here in Australia, but worldwide. The federal and state governments took the necessary actions to keep Australians safe, however the economic impact on most sectors of the Australian economy, particularly the arts and entertainment sectors, will take years from which to recover. While we had most of our bookings cancelled or postponed, like many of our colleagues in the industry, there were some interesting and positive shifts in the way we did business which reflected general trends in the events industry. Below, we’ve listed five changes to our business model which will help us deliver our music to our clients throughout 2021.
Like many businesses in our industry, we have invested in the necessary technology and equipment to allow us to deliver our performances via a livestream. We use popular platforms such as Facebook and Zoom and have invested in a studio space with an upright piano to deliver these performances. We recently performed for the Yancoal Virtual Awards using this platform to a receptive online audience of over 150 attendees, which you can view on our Instagram Page at https://www.instagram.com/p/CIDYN5YBGj1/.
PRE-RECORDED MUSIC FOR EVENTS
The other alternative to livestream performances is to pre-record a performance, which can then be played during a later event. We were recently engaged by the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) to perform a few songs in a studio space, which was filmed and recorded and then replayed during an online event a week later. This is a great option for larger events with the budget to include studio hire, sound recording and video equipment to create a top-quality performance. You can watch us performing one the of the songs we recorded for this event, ‘Wave’ by Antonio Carlos Jobim, via our Vimeo Channel at https://vimeo.com/484664941.
SMALLER ENSEMBLES FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING
Part of the challenge faced by clients last year who were in a position to feature a live band for their events was adhering to the government social-distancing requirements, which were often changing on a weekly basis. This made it extremely difficult for many venues to feature large ensembles which are typical of party/dance bands. One aspect of our business model which we pride ourselves on is our ability to offer a range of different band line-ups, from solo musicians and duos to trios and quartets. Our flexible range of packages ensures that you can book the right line-up to satisfy the social-distancing requirements based on your event space, and still have dazzling jazz to boot! For our full range of band configurations, read our blog post at https://thegraduatesmusic.com.au/wedding-band-options/.
INSTRUMENTAL LINEUPS (NO VOCALS)
As we saw announced throughout most of the year by the NSW Government, certain restrictions were placed on live entertainment beyond the social distancing measures. These included, but were not limited to, no dancing and no vocal performances (due to the risk of spread). This was a huge blow for many party and dance bands, who rely on vocal performances as part of their line-up, not to mention getting the crowd dancing! Fortunately, we are able to offer a range of instrumental line-ups which allow for fantastic jazz music to create an easy-listening and relaxed ambience that doesn’t encourage dancing from the crowd. Watch us performing as the instrumental Classic Piano Trio via our Vimeo Channel at https://vimeo.com/428917877.
FLEXIBLE CANCELLATION POLICY
Lastly, we understand that organising an event during this time is considerably more stressful due to the changing advice and restrictions implemented by the NSW Government on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. That is why we have introduced a special clause in our standard Performance Agreement that allows clients to use their full deposit towards a future booking should they be forced to reschedule their event due to COVID-19, or should they wish to cancel altogether, we will refund their deposit in full less a small $100.00 management fee. We hope that this gives clients the reassurance they need to book an event with the flexibility to reschedule later should the situation change. For more information on our cancellation policy, contact us at https://thegraduatesmusic.com.au/contact-us/.
This year has certainly posed its challenges, and with the virus still very much a present threat, we have put measures in place for this year should the post-COVID recovery still be months, if not a year, away. We hope these options give you some reassurance that should you be organising a wedding or corporate event, The Graduates can still very much be an important part of your celebration. We look forward to working with you throughout this period to ensure that we all get through the next year together, whatever that may look like.
Michael Walder (Manager)