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Photo credit Duncan Wright

As reported in the media over the weekend Queensland Health issued the NightQuarter music venue in Birtinya, Sunshine Coast closure notice on the night prior to the San Cisco concert, due to be held on Saturday 12 June.

The notice was served due to a complaint regarding concerts that happened the prior weekend on June 4th and 5th. This was delivered by Queensland Heath officials and uniformed police at 8.30pm on Friday 11 June. The venue was given no right of reply or opportunity to enforce stronger Covid restrictions.

San Cisco, Select Music and their Management are requesting compensation from the Queensland Government for losses incurred due to the closure being enforced less than 24 hours prior to their concert date. 

San Cisco’s concert at NightQuarter was sold out with an expected gross revenue in the region of $60,000.The primary complaint is San Cisco could have rearranged their shows for other venues, could have saved on transport and accommodation costs as well as wage costs for touring personnel if more notice had been given.The loss of this show is on top of the postponement of four shows the week prior in Victoria (due to the recent Covid Outbreak). 

“As an independent band, like many others, San Cisco rely on live music as their primary source of income,” said Philip Stevens, from San Cisco’s management. “Not only did San Cisco miss out, but so did Brisbane artist Jaguar Jonze, who is supporting all shows on this tour. The loss of the NightQuarter show will mean the band will lose money on this tour. The tour, in support of their album release for ‘Between You and Me’, has already been moved many times.” he continued. 

A more general complaint is the double standards that are being used against the Arts Industry across the country. 

Philip Stevens continued, “The behaviour of patrons at the NightQuarter is no different to that experienced at sporting events around the state in the very same week. As of this point in time no cases of Covid have been attributed to gatherings of people at music concerts throughout Australia. So why are venues and concerts still being targeted by State governments as dangerous activities in comparison to major sporting events that are occurring every week? The arts industry is suffering, especially the hundreds of musicians who have no clear pathway forwards for their careers.” 

San Cisco’s booking agent, Stephen Wade added; “As the agent for San Cisco I will be supporting the band and fighting to get a resolution to the overreaction from QLD Health in enforcing a shut down within 24 hours at NightQuarter on the weekend. The live music industry has endured more than most during this pandemic and is still not back to 100% 16 months after Covid closed our industry down. The weekends actions have to stop and the over policing of live music events needs to be addressed immediately.

We are still yet to see any documentation from QLD Health or any health department in Australia giving us an explanation as to why our events are deemed so dangerous to the health of the general public, and all we are asking for is a fair go, bearing in mind that there has still not been a single transmission of Covid19 at a ticketed live music event in Australia EVER.”San Cisco lead singer Jordi Davieson had this to say: “It was really disappointing to hear last minute that our concert at the NightQuarter was to be cancelled. We knew that our fans from the Sunshine Coast had made this our biggest show of the tour. We had already had to cancel once already, so it was upsetting to have to let our fans down again.

We look forward to coming back as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will try and busy ourselves on yet another enforced day off!”Jaguar Jonze commented: “As an artist based in QLD I am already at an inconvenience trying to fund touring activities in other states. The fact that we are struggling to play our contracted shows even in our home state shows how little support we are shown as active employers and participants in the economy. The arts industries have been decimated and it’s amazing that we continue to try to push through. QLD should be proud of the work we continually put in to bring live music to all parts of this state and 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.”

San Cisco will be requesting compensation for direct losses as well as potential losses due to the concert not being able to go ahead, and no known date yet being made available for a replacement concert.The ‘Between You and Me’ Tour resumes next Thursday 17 June at The Gov in Adelaide, Friday 18 June at The Refectory in Bruce SA, Saturday 19 June at NEX in Newcastle West NSW, Friday July 2 in Hobart at The Goods Shed, Friday 16 July in their hometown of Fremantle at the Freo.Social and Saturday 17 July at The Rechabite in Northbridge WA. The re-scheduled Victorian shows kick off with two shows on Thursday 22 July at the Forum Theatre, Friday 23 July at the Barwon Heads Hotel, Saturday 24 July at Torquay Hotel and Sunday 25 July at the Pier Hotel in Frankston.


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