Triple J are bringing forward their annual Ausmusic T-shirt Day this year in an effort to raise spirits and money, as Australia faces one of the toughest times in our history.
The event, which usually takes place during November’s Ausmusic month, will instead be held Friday April 17. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Ausmusic T-Shirt Day is a nationwide celebration of the brilliant homegrown music we produce, but it’s also a time to give generously. Triple J have partnered with the charity Support Act for years now, using this event as a platform to raise money for artists, crew, and music workers who are doing it tough. It has never been more important than it is this year.
The effects of Coronavirus have left the music industry struggling to keep it’s head above water. Social isolation and a ban on public gatherings has meant that all gigs and festivals have either been postponed or outright cancelled. To make matters worse, because most musicians are self-employed and rely largely on gig work, many are not eligible for the newly announced job keeper benefits.
So you’re probably wondering how you can get involved. The most obvious way is in the name. It’s all about the merch after all. Support Act has a massive range of different artist’ merchandise for sale. It doesn’t have to be a T-Shirt, it can be socks, a tote bag, any donation is an essential donation- isn’t that right Scomo?
Last year, Triple J raised $260,773, smashing their target of $125,000. It seems like a big number, but if we do some quick maths, you’ll soon realise that we can do much better. The average band T-Shirt sells for $40 on Support Act, which means that 6,500 shirts would have had to sell to reach that figure. But Triple J has a viewership in the millions. If every Triple J viewer donated $1 to Support Act, we could smash last year’s target more than 8 times over.
But if you don’t need a new addition to your wardrobe, there are other ways you can help out. If you are in a position to do so you can donate directly to Support Act. Otherwise, just showing up makes a difference. Switch on Triple J on April 17, and enjoy what our local scene has to offer; talk about your favourite artists on social media; stream their music on Spotify or Apple music; keep them relevant and keep them included. Our music industry is one of the strongest facets of Australian culture – we can’t leave them behind when they need us the most.
Me and my friends are splitting the bill on a Skeggs T-shirt and pair of socks. Kind of like a Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants situation. So the only question that remains is, what will you be wearing?
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