Help the performing arts recover

29 September, 2020


In rapid response to the challenges of COVID-19, the Australian Music Vault has created a series of video stories and interviews that capture, in real time, the impact of the pandemic on our Australian music community.

A call to arms – recording the stories of Australian music

In early April 2020, it became clear that the pandemic was heavily impacting our Australian music community. The Australian Music Vault team wanted to ensure that the extraordinary stories of challenges, isolation, innovation, creativity, compassion and strength in community were captured from a range of perspectives, so they began Banding Together.

Over a four-month period, co-producers Carl Gardiner, Australian Music Vault Music Industry Advisor & Special Projects, and Marcus Knight, Advisory Board Member, interviewed 32 people who work in or with our music community including managers, publicists, label heads, government officials, doctors and psychologists in raw, compassionate and heartfelt interviews.

The people who so generously trusted the Australian Music Vault to tell their stories during these extraordinary times were:

Dr Andy Ward – Bill Page – Bonnie Dalton – Cameron Adams – Carolyn Laffan – Chris Robinson – Chrissie Vincent – Claire Spencer AM – Dan Rosen – Emily Cheung – Emily Ulman – Franco Greco – Gabby Colombi – Ian James OAM – Jeff Jenkins – Jimmy Barnes AO – John Watson – Lisa Palermo – Luke O’Connor – Martin Foley MP – Michael Gudinski AM – Dr Michael Olenski – Michael Parisi – Michael Warner – N’fa Jones – Peter Bain-Hogg – Phil Reed – Philip Mortlock – Robert Bundle – Lord Mayor Sally Capp – Tana Douglas – Vicky Jacobs


Interviewees from the Australian Music Vault's 'Banding Together' series


Their stories provide insights into a resilient and innovative community, willing to come to the aid of others while being significantly impacted themselves. As new additions to the Australian Performing Arts Collection, these interviews will offer current and future generations the opportunity to revisit and reflect on this important moment in our history.

“Both Marcus and I were humbled and extremely grateful for the trust shown by all the people from our music community we interviewed. They allowed us into their lives and lounge rooms during very challenging times. Their stories provide Banding Together the opportunity to show an insightful and very human side of our music community during these extraordinary times,” – Carl Gardiner, co-producer of Banding Together.

Banding Together

From these interviews, various themes came to light. Narratives reflecting this were developed resulting in three special Banding Together episodes. These honest, heartfelt and authentic stories are now available to watch via the Australian Music Vault.

Episode 1: The Silent Voice

This first episode sets the scene and explains how the music industry operated before COVID-19. Through personal interviews, we hear what it was like to be shut down immediately, the consequences of staged restrictions, how it feels to respond to these challenges and ultimately, the impact on the mental health and wellbeing on an entire sector.



Episode 2: Isol-Aid

The online music festival Isol-Aid, founded by Emily Ulman, provides a powerful example of the pride, creativity and resilience of our music community during COVID-19. Viewers will hear from industry peers about what Isol-Aid has achieved for music makers and fans across the world, while also identifying the strength it takes to create, produce and sustain a project like this during lockdown.



Episode 3: Our Essential Service

This episode gives insight into the leadership and determination of the music community set against the chaos of COVID-19. Hear how each of these storytellers, with a passion for music, have had to adapt to keep their industry alive. Music goes beyond artistic expression and performance – it really provides an essential service to our community - and continues to do so not matter how much it is challenged.



More Stories

Each person interviewed has different connections to our music community and all shared personal and honest insights. Their stories humanize the challenges we are all facing right now, and present their hopes for the future of our music community. The Australian Music Vault has made available a number of their individual Banding Together interviews including –

Another three fascinating stories from Michael Gudinski AM, Mushroom Group Chairman, Dan Rosen, CEO of ARIA and Dr. Andy Ward, Lecturer in Contemporary Music at University of Sunshine Coast, will appear early October adding to the many great long form interviews from key members of our music community that can be found on the Australian Music Vault website.


The stories of Banding Together belong to our music community; the Australian Music Vault is helping to share them.

If you, or someone you know – including those connected to the creative industries – are facing mental health challenges, please contact one of the following helplines: Support Act Wellbeing Helpline on 1800 959 500; Arts Wellbeing Collective; Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.


For more in-depth interviews and to discover more about Banding Together visit the Australian Music Vault website.



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