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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

#VaxTheNation Is the New Aussie Campaign Encouraging the Jab to Help Restart Live Entertainment

More than 400 Australian performers and live events companies have united on the new campaign, including Powderfinger, Jimmy Barnes, Courtney Barnett, Paul Kelly and G-Flip.
By Sarah Ward
September 06, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
September 06, 2021
  shares

There's a vibe that buzzes through a venue just before a live gig starts. It's a feeling of excitement shared by a room, arena or field full of people who just can't wait to see a performer take to the stage, and to completely surrender their senses to a show for the next few hours. We all know it. If you're fond of seeing musicians, bands and comedians do their thing right in front of your eyes, you love it. But for nearly two years now, much of Australia has missed it — or missed experiencing it whenever we liked, as was the norm before the pandemic.

The country's live entertainment industry has obviously been suffering due to COVID-19, and the lockdowns and restrictions that've been helping to stop the spread since March 2020. Yes, that's an understatement. So, more than 400 artists, performers and other organisations involved in putting on live shows — think: venues, music festivals, tour promoters, ticketing agencies, record labels and comedy producers, as well as theatre, opera and dance companies — have banded together to encourage a way forward. As the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra did back in July, this alliance has kicked off a campaign that's all about getting the jab.

The message: #VaxTheNation, stop the interruptions to our daily lives. Accordingly, the just-dropped campaign commercial features shots of sights that feel a bit like a dream from another time, with performers on stages and packed crowds lapping up their sets. These images play to the sound of Powderfinger's 'My Happiness' — and yes, the Brisbane band is one of the big names backing the initiative.

Also involved: Jimmy Barnes, Courtney Barnett, Paul Kelly, G-Flip, Tim Minchin, Celeste Barber, Vance Joy, Archie Roach, Amy Shark, Regurgitator, Courtney Act, Birds Of Tokyo, Tom Gleeson, Amyl & The Sniffers, Hilltop Hoods, Nazeem Hussain, Marcia Hines, Midnight Oil, Judith Lucy, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Nina Las Vegas, Briggs, Daryl Braithwaite and Human Nature. The list of performers and musos throwing their names behind the campaign goes on, while new industry group Live Alliance — which includes folks from a heap of other live entertainment bodies — are onboard as well.

Check out the #VaxTheNation commercial below:

In a statement, Live Alliance members said that "the impact of the pandemic on Australia's world-leading music, theatre, comedy and live entertainment industries has been truly devastating. Getting vaccinated is the crucial step fans can take which will allow us to join together and enjoy the unbeatable magic of live performance once again."

Those sentiments have been backed up by words of encouragement from plenty of the high-profile names involved, too.

"It's like boxing — a few well-placed jabs can keep your opponent at bay — so let's get the jab to fight COVID-19 so we can get back to what we love doing," noted Archie Roach.

"I miss my family, I miss my mates, I miss travelling, I miss performing and sweating it out with other music loves at live music events. But every day when I see those vaccination rates getting higher and higher, it reminds me that I'll be doing all of that again soon and we are so, so close now to dancing together again!" said KLP.

"This IS a race. A race we are all running, together," advised Tim Minchin.

"As someone who hates COVID and is desperate for attention, I think we should all vax it up so we can get back to normal and have comedy and music and theatre again ASAP. Let's #VaxTheNation so we all have a reason to have a shower and leave the house," said Tom Ballard.

If you're now looking for vaccination clinics, you can check out a handy online map that collates vaccination hub, clinic and GP locations. It covers all Australian states and territories, including New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

For more information about #VaxTheNation, head to the campaign's website.

Published on September 06, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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