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Australian Musicians Struggle to Make Ends Meet on Less Than $6,000 Annually

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According to MEAA Campaigns Director Paul Davies, the survey reveals a grim reality of the struggles faced by many in an unregulated industry.

An investigation of professional musicians in Australia has shown that almost half of them earn annual incomes significantly below the national poverty line, with many also facing abuse during performances.

The Media, Entertainment, and Arts Alliance (MEAA) is a union and professional organization representing workers in the media, entertainment, and arts sectors in Australia. Its membership includes journalists, actors, dancers, and musicians.

MEAA works to advocate for the rights and interests of its members, including fair wages, safe working conditions, and professional standards.

A recently conducted survey by Musicians Australia, a branch of MEAA, revealed that half of the country’s musicians earned less than $6,000 (US$3,900) per year in 2023, with a majority (64 percent) earning less than $15,000 annually.

Paul Davies, MEAA campaigns director, expressed that the survey unveils a troubling reality.

“This confirms that musicians are at the forefront of Australia’s insecure work crisis,” he stated, highlighting the challenges many face in this unregulated industry.

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“Our members are reporting that conditions have deteriorated since the pandemic, with issues like venue closures, stringent fee arrangements, poor working conditions, and general cost of living concerns threatening their sustainability in the industry,” Mr. Davies emphasized.

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