IMAGINE you're having 10 friends over to dinner.
The smart people will rightly point out we're not allowed to do that in either NSW or Victoria under the present restrictions, but like I said, "imagine".
You shop for the group before you're told you can only have five friends over on the night you've chosen.
You decide to reschedule the dinner.
On your second attempt to host the dinner, you shop for the group before you're once again told you're back to a limit of five friends.
You decide to reschedule the dinner.
On your third attempt to host the dinner, you shop for the group before you're told you can no longer have friends over from south of the border.
Now dinner feels like an awkward double date and you can't even remember what you were getting together for in the first place and what you planned to cook is actually out of season!
By the way, it's masks all-round.
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On your third attempt to host the dinner, you shop for the group before you're told you can no longer have friends over from south of the border. Now dinner feels like an awkward double date and you can't even remember what you were getting together for in the first place and what you planned to cook is actually out of season!
Border venue operators are constantly bending over backwards to comply with the two sets of house rules coming from the NSW and Victorian governments.
Unlike Wagga or Bendigo, which draw patrons for their live music and arts events predominantly from either NSW and Victoria, respectively, Albury-Wodonga is split down the middle when it comes to the make-up of its audiences.
Major shows and gigs in Albury can almost certainly not go ahead under Victorian lockdowns.
Homegrown singers Human Nature recently rescheduled their sold-out shows at Albury Entertainment Centre for the second time this year until next July.
A Taste of Ireland was split into two shows at AEC this month to comply with NSW capacity rules before new problems arose.
Other states threatening to close the border to NSW meant the cast was not guaranteed to get home without having to quarantine.
You have to feel for artists, support crews, promoters and venue operators.
Their heads must be spinning!
The scenario captured in the report, Creativity in Crisis: Rebooting Australia's Arts & Entertainment Sector, which was commissioned by the Media, Arts and Entertainment Alliance, is telling.
Co-authors Ben Eltham and Alison Pennington estimate the arts and culture sector employs more than 350,000 people - more than three times the number in aviation and mining.
It contributed more than $17 billion to the Australian economy in 2018-2019.
In February 2021, about 45 per cent of all employees in arts and recreation services were in casual roles without access to basic entitlements including holiday and sick leave and superannuation.
Casual employment has also increased and job insecurity was "endemic", the report said.
Needless to say, the global pandemic has impacted the arts and entertainment sector like few others.
Even within the ever-changing Border Bubble, theatre companies, dance troupes and bands have been kept apart by different state restrictions.
Zoom rehearsals are common.
Having already been rescheduled from last year, Centre Stage Event Company will finally open We Will Rock You at AEC on Friday night.
Its seven shows are sold-out to the 50 per cent venue capacity allowed in NSW under the restrictions. (Check with AEC about a wait list.)
With Victoria only coming out of lockdown on Tuesday night, the planets have aligned in the nick of time!
Already tipped to be an emotion-charged season, it couldn't possibly be anything else now.
When the rules allow it, support the arts: Book a ticket to a gig or the theatre today.
You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
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