Rockers seek Covid compo

• San Cisco

FREO-BASED indie pop trio San Cisco is seeking $25,000 in compensation after the Queensland government ordered the last-minute cancellation of one of its gigs.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government forced the closure of Sunshine Coast concert venue NightQuarter over Covid breaches, the venue where the band was to play June 12.

Uniformed police issued NightQuarter with a breach notice less than 24 hours before San Cisco’s show, leaving the band without time to reschedule at a different venue and wearing the cost of travel and roadie wages. 

“As an independent band, San Cisco rely on live music as their primary source of income,” San Cisco manager Phillip Stevens said.

The move by Queensland Health to shut down NightQuarter came after videos were posted of close-quarters dancing during a concert the weekend prior. 

San Cisco is using the cancellation as an opportunity to speak out against what it calls a double standard in Covid restrictions against the arts. 

“We expect the QLD government to make fairer assessments of the risks associated with live events and offer the same consideration to music events as they have shown to other industries,” said San Cisco supporting artist Jaguar Jonze.

NightQuarter co-owner Michelle Christoe told ABC News: “They’re helping other industries but we’re not seeing a lot of help coming our way.” 

Mr Stevens compared the strict restrictions imposed on arts gatherings with the grace being shown to sporting events, stressing there had been no documented cases of Covid transmission at a ticketed live music event in Australia.

“The arts industry is suffering, especially the hundreds of musicians who have no clear pathway forwards for their careers.”

The Sunshine Coast stop was slated to be the biggest of the tour, grossing an estimated $60,000 and hosting 1,250 fans. 

“We had already had to cancel once already, so it was upsetting to have to let our fans down again,” said lead singer Jordi Davieson.

The band is asking for $25,000 to cover the cost of rescheduling the performance. Mr Stevens argues that a precedent was set when New South Wales compensated Bluesfest after shutting down its website less than 24 hours before the festival was slated to start.

Freo-based fans who want to see San Cisco perform on home turf can catch them at the Freo Social on July 16 (Covid permitting). 

by CARSON BODIE

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