Bring Back Live Music
Please support musicians in Hong Kong to perform again. Independent musicians are suffering as bars and clubs still are not allowed to host live music.
Since April 3 this year when the bars were first closed, most of the estimated 1,000 musicians in the city have been out of work. Some lost their jobs earlier, when the coronavirus first swept across four bars in Central, Wanchai and Tsim Sha Tsui, ultimately leaving more than 20 musicians infected with Covid-19, and about 50 others placed under quarantine as close contacts.
We have been unfairly shown to be carriers of the virus, when we were in fact, victims. We were stricken while we were just doing our jobs. If we are to rely on public data released by the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health, the so-called “bar cluster” started as early as mid-March, when a couple of bar patrons, some of whom had arrived from overseas, tested positive for the coronavirus.
And yet, we are the ones who have suffered the most from that incident. Bars and pubs are always among the last to reopen when the government starts relaxing social distancing measures, and even when they are allowed to do business again, very strict regulations are put in place, including a ban on live shows.
As proof, bars have been allowed to resume business on September 18, but we have yet to hear of them being given permission to have live shows again, so we can get back to work.
Of all the people whose lives have been adversely affected by the pandemic, musicians rank among the worst hit. Not only did we not get financial aid from the government when a number of us got sick or were quarantined, we, along with our families, continue to suffer because we have been out of work for nearly six months.
With so many safety precautions now put in place to prevent the spread of the virus in restaurants, bars and in most other public places, allowing us to get back to work may be long overdue. But we know we must also do our part in ensuring that the public, including us, remains safe amid fears of a new outbreak this coming winter.
With that in mind, we undertake to observe the following self-regulations, as soon as we’re allowed to perform again: (1) wear masks at all times inside bars, including during performances; (2) bring our own microphones so we do not share them when we do shows; (3) not interact with guests during, and in-between shows; (4) sterilize our equipment before and after each performance; (5) perform in only one venue and not do bar-hopping on each day; (6) submit ourselves to Covid-19 tests and do other tasks when so required in the interest of public safety.
Once again, we appeal to your generous heart to help us play music again, and regain our livelihood.
Hong Kong Musicians Union Contact the author of the petition
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