+++UPDATE: Germany announces €50 billion aid package for sole traders and casuals targeted at creative sector

Angela Merkel and Monika Grütters (Photo: Christian Marquardt/Getty Images)

The German federal government has announced an impressive €50 billion aid package for sole traders, freelancers and casual workers, targeted at the country’s creative and cultural sectors.

“Our democratic society needs its unique and diverse cultural and media landscape in this historical situation, which was unimaginable until recently,” said culture minister Monika Grütters in a statement. “The creative courage of creative people can help to overcome the crisis. We should seize every opportunity to create good things for the future. That is why the following applies: artists are not only indispensable, but also vital, especially now.”

Read about the details of this well-considered relief package via ArtNet.

+++UPDATE: USA: Survey and resources provided by Philadelphia Arts, Culture and Creative Economy Office

Image via Pexel

The Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy is providing and promoting information and resources for artists and arts organizations to help them through the COVID-19 health crisis, including available financial relief, and potential work opportunities.  

The Office has also just launched an important impact survey. All creative industry workers are urged to complete it, so an accurate assessment of required support can be made.

Survey and resources can be found here.

+++UPDATE: London brewery launches Pub In A Box

An east London brewery is battling the coronavirus pub ban by launching a pub in a box that’s delivered straight to your door.

The Pub in a Box contains the brewery’s core range of beers (you can order eight, 16 or 24 cans), snacks including nuts and pretzel pieces, two stem glasses, a Spotify playlist with a QR code, and a music quiz.

You can also purchase tickets to their post-coronavirus Piss Up in a Brewery, priced £30 with free beer.

Read all about this cheeky initiative via The Resident.

+++UPDATE: Australian artists can fast-track merchandise sales

Australian initiative The Merch Desk is about to make it a lot easier and faster for artists of all kinds to design, create and sell merchandise, with profits available within hours.

Conceived and launched by Brisbane musician Joseph Knox-Wheeler, the new site is “designed to remove all barriers that would otherwise stop artists offering merch to their fans and supporters… With a print on demand service, we only print a product when an order is placed. This means no waste, no upfront costs, & no financial risks for artists.”

The Merch Desk has teamed up with Brisbane-based company The Print Bar for production, and graphic designer/illustrator Jimmy Patch, who can assist with designs if artists need.

It costs nothing to get going, and artists will receive the large majority of sales, with a small portion being deducted to cover The Print Bar production costs, and $1 of each sale going to The Merch Desk.

Artists can sign up here. We encourage fans to check back on the website in a few days and start supporting your favourite creatives!

+++NEWS: Japan: Rainbow Disco Club to host fundraising livestream event in place of cancelled festival

Rainbow Disco Club is hosting a livestream event on April 18th, the day its now-cancelled festival was due to take place, from the festival site in Chubu. The lineup features DJ NobuKenji TakimiYoshinori Hayashi and more.

After the distribution ends, ticket buyers will be able to view the archive until 23:59 on the 25th April.

A message from the organisers: “We would like to announce that we made a decision to throw a 12 hour long paid-streaming party on April 18th the Saturday with the cooperation of many. This will be the very first attempt for us but we will do our best as much as to the actual festival in Higashi-Izu. We hope this will be the special day for you during this long isolation time at home.”

“We must keep smiling. This is what we have learned in the last 11 years from you.”

Find out more and buy tickets here.

+++UPDATE: Sydney: Restrictions lifted to allow alcohol delivery from all licensed venues

vie Pexel

A potential lifeline has been handed to Sydney’s small bar industry, which was effectively shuttered on Monday as the federal government ordered the closure of non-essential services – including pubs and clubs – to stop the spread of COVID-19.

New South Wales’ existing restrictions on alcohol licensing will be immediately lifted, to allow door-to-door delivery of cocktails and other alcoholic beverages.

This Friday, we encourage you to support a bar near you by ordering an elaborate cocktail or two and crank up the group chat for an end-of-week drink session, corona-style.

Read the report via Sydney Morning Herald, or check out how Sydney restaurants and cafes are creatively adapting to a delivery model via Time Out.

+++UPDATE: Aus music industry announces Sound of Silence support campaign

“The Australian music industry is sending out an SOS”

An Aus music industry taskforce made up of radio stations, including triple j, record labels, tech companies, government groups and promoters has just announced a new initiative, aiming to maintain a basic income for artists you love during the lockdown of live music brought about by the coronavirus outbreak.

Read about the first Sound of Silence announcement on the triple j website, which highlights immediate ways to help Australian musicians. We will keep you posted on the initiative’s next steps.

+++UPDATE: Los Angeles: LA Nightlife Alliance economic impact survey is live

via LANA

Los Angeles Nightlife Alliance:

“As the city starts to draft its stimulus bills for various industries, we need to make sure that the voices of those in nightlife are heard. The underground, DIY and queer scenes that LANA supports are some of the most marginalized and invisible at the best of times, and we have to communicate the needs of our community to the city.”

“The Los Angeles Nightlife Alliance is gathering information on the impacts for workers, performers, contractors, and businesses from COVID-19-related business closures and event cancellations.”

“Please provide details for your canceled shifts, gigs, events, and other lost business income, revenue, or work opportunities so that we can share details with city-wide policy makers about the impacts of these closures.”

Los Angeles Survey for Nightlife Workers, Freelancers, Businesses and Patrons Impacted by COVID-19

+++UPDATE: Seattle: GoFundMe and Mayor’s Arts Recovery Package provide some relief

Ijeoma Oluo’s GoFundMe has so far raised 180k on behalf of Artists Relief Fund.

American author and journalist Ijeoma Oluo is among the organisers of a GoFundMe campaign set up in support of artists in the city hardest hit by COVID-19 in the US, Seattle.

At time of writing funds topped 180, 000, with 100% of this to be distributed to artists who have lost income due to cancellations and work stoppage during the pandemic.

The Seattle mayor’s office has augmented this fundraiser with $50, 000, and announced the Mayor’s Arts Recovery Package, investing $1 million in an Arts Stabilization Fund, and offering a further $50, 000 in available grants.

Seattle and 4Culture Announce New Funding Relief Packages for the Arts | The Stranger | 17th March 2020