KEEPING LOVE ALIVE In the time of coronavirus

The Federal Government advised last Friday that gatherings and non-essential events of more than 500 people were “cancelled” and followed that up this week with a ban on indoor events over 100 people. These measures are being put in place in an effort to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and the effects have seen cancellations and closures everywhere. This new directive has far-reaching consequences for our friends in the entertainment, hospitality, food and beverage, and tourism industries, meaning our small businesses and local scenes are likely to be hard hit. At X-PRESS we are passionate about supporting our local community. Our in-house scientist and positivity queen Q has come up with some ways you can help keep our local music, arts, film and hospitality industries alive throughout this time. 

Virtual love

If you are self-isolating, you can share the love, virtually. While you’re at home, jump online and purchase your favourite local band’s music, order some cool vinyl or some merch to wear around the house. Bandcamp are waiving their revenue share on purchases for 24 hrs on Friday 20 March Pacific Time (or from 3pm WST). That’s an extra 25% going to artists if you buy some music and a t-shirt! Nice.

It’s also humbling to see people coming up with creative ideas to stay sane indoors and to keep the arts alive:

This weekend local favs Stella Donnelly and Spacey Jane are part of an all-star lineup for ISOL-AID Music Festival. The live streaming music festival all kicks off from 12 noon to midnight (AEST) on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22 March. Playing live from bedrooms, lounge-rooms, studios or whereever they are self-isolating, artists will play a 20 minute set streamed live on their instagram accounts. Follow #isolaidfestival on instagram for all the action.

The Sewing Room has closed for public gigs, but their doors remain open to up-and-coming bands and DJs to perform or record in house, via the OpenLive app, which can then be streamed or shared online.

RTRFM are asking artists to play ‘Live At Home’ and send it to them. They’d love to hear your live chops and you can submit a live home recording audio and video (if possible) of your own song and/or a Slightly Odway style cover of another Western Australian act. Submit to with ‘Live At Home’ in the subject line.

Over east, the Cat Empire have initiated the ‘Lockdown Get Down’. They’re encouraging people to stream more music non-stop on your preferred streaming service, and by creating a playlist, name it “lockdowngetdown”, and share it with your friends. Don’t forget to post your Lockdown Get Down pics and vids online with hashtags #lockdowngetdown and #thecatempire.

Ever felt like your shower needed a bit of class? Perth Symphony Orchestra is getting clean with #bachinthebathroom. Designed to inspire everyone to pick up their instruments and encourage connection through music, simply take a video of yourself in the bathroom, playing your favourite Bach piece and upload to Facebook with #bachinthebathroom and #bachaday. Tag @Perthsymphony to follow.

Dancing isn’t cancelled either! Our local team at NoLightsNoLycra Perth hosted their first ever “online dance session” on Monday with great success. Tune in via the Facebook link above on Monday evenings, hit the lights (off), press play and dance in the lounge room (or bedroom, or anywhere you like really) to let those good feels in. Sessions will livestreamed via Zoom.

Take action!

For those in the industry who have been effected by the closure of music and arts events and venues, the West Australian Music Industry Association (WAM) has set up a taskforce to lobby the Government for relief and support to the industry. The taskforce has launched the website ILOSTMYGIG.NET.AU to track the economic impact of COVID-19 and resulting event cancellations on the music sector. Log on to add your stories now!

The Australian Music Industry (AMI) has also partnered with Support Act to set up an emergency appeal for artists affected by COVID-19. So for every person that has had a concert ticket refunded, consider donating the price to this essential cause. If you have a ticket to an upcoming event that has been postponed, AMI ask for your continued support by holding onto your ticket. This allows both you, the performers, and everyone behind the scenes the certainty of a rescheduled event. The show must go on! #keepyourticket

Small bars

Still want a drink or a bite with friends without the crowds? With the capacity rules in place, its fair to assume venues will also put caps on patrons and we may see a more cancellations as reduced punters makes it unviable to run gigs. Luckily, some small bars and cafes also offer live music and DJs. There are loads of cool small bars and micro-breweries hidden away all over our city. Areas such as Maylands and Fremantle are the new hot spots in town, or maybe it is time to revisit some old favourites.


For more intimate viewing, Luna has small capacity screens at it’s Leederville location, and for now is still operating the main auditoriums with reduced seating limits. Open-air watching is available at Camelot Outdoor until March 25th and Luna Outdoor until April 1. For initmate viewing, treat yo’ self and splurge on the various gold class cinema options – you won’t regret it [unfortunately, Palace Cinema’s is taking a temporary break]. And hey, with all the people staying at home, you might even get the whole theatre to yourself!

Go for a walk

Perth is full of beautiful parks, gardens and beaches. Grab some local craft beers, a nice southwest wine and pack a picnic to soak up some sun and fresh air. The natural cure to lift your spirits.

Travel intrastate

Still need a holiday? Consider a stay-cation at one of Perth’s unique boutique hotels, or travel within WA. Our state is filled with incredible places to see and things to do. Beautiful scenery, gourmet food and adventures are only a short drive or fly away. In autumn the weather is just perfect to get out there and get away.

Stay home

And, let it not be unsaid: if you are feeling unwell or think you might be coming down with something, do us all a favour and stay home. Social distancing and reducing your contact in social situations is being widely promoted to help reduce the spread of disease, so it can be understandable that during this time people want to stay home.

If you are locked inside, there’s a few options other than Netflix. Rev-OnDemand is a great source of hard-to-find indie films and docos that should keep you entertained for days in isolation. Or if TV isn’t your jam, jump onto the RTRFM website (or download the app) for a diverse range of tunes and shows to listen to live or restream 24-7. Arts lovers aren’t forgotten: Perth Festival has curated a series of online arts experiences including content from galleries, artists, festivals, musicians and venues so you can still enjoy the arts from the comfort of home.

You don’t have to be stuck eating boring canned soup either! Plenty of local restaurants and cafes are now on popular delivery apps (Menulog, Deliveroo or UberEats). Keep stocked up, but there’s no need to panic buy bulk supplies just yet. Major supermarkets and some chemists offer online ordering and delivery, including toilet paper.

To all our friends, we hope you are staying healthy and happy. We can get through this!

** Article is accurate at time of publication and is updated regularly. Take recommended health precautions and check with most recent Government advice and your local venues for updates **