The City of Austin has taken measures during this unprecedented time to provide relief for both musicians and music venues via the Music Disaster Relief Fund. Sadly, this fund offers no support for the hardworking venue technicians whose behind-the-scenes efforts make live music events possible. Please sign this petition to let City Council know that production technicians such as lighting designers, sound engineers, and stage managers need to be included when it comes to aiding the Austin music scene and providing hope through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
To: Mayor Steve Adler
We recognize that protecting Austin’s musicians and music venues is extremely important. However, if the goal is to protect Austin’s music industry, one key element has been left out of Austin’s Music Disaster Relief Fund; live event technicians.
Whether an event is large or small, musicians cannot be seen or heard without the involvement and expertise of stage technicians. Production staff, including sound engineers, lighting designers, video engineers, and others, are integral to the success of live music performances. In fact, the quality of production can have a direct impact on the income a venue generates.
Production staff are often freelance and just as financially unstable as musicians. Like musicians and music venues, technicians are also in need of assistance to survive the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Most affected are technicians who have been misclassified as contract labor causing their unemployment claims to be denied, delayed, or significantly reduced.
We realize these are extremely difficult times for everyone. However, in formulating help for performance-based arts, we ask that assistance is not limited to performers and venues only. Although professionally stage technicians strive to be invisible, we do not wish to be invisible within our community.
Please expand the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund to include production staff who live in the Greater Austin Area and regularly work in local venues, and contribute to Austin being recognized as the Live Music Capital of the World.