When lockdown came in March if you served food at a restaurant you lost your job, but if you worked in a supermarket next it was so busy you couldn’t keep the shelves stocked.
Government relief has been equally as arbitrary – a friend who works a couple of shifts at a bakery is earning three times their regular pay on Jobkeeper.
Meanwhile, another whose work criss-crosses Australia’s annual roster of arts and music festivals finds himself lining up on Murray Street for the dole.
Falling on deaf ears it’s been repeatedly pointed out that there are around 200,000 artists, musicians, dancers, actors and comedians who have jobs worth keeping.
The ironic thing in all this is whenever there’s a disaster like a bushfire, flood, famine – it’s our artists who rally around to sing, to dance, to make us laugh and cry, who raise the money to help those who have lost everything.
It got us thinking; maybe we could pay our brother and sister artists to perform at the Fair Food warehouse.
Art happens in other workplaces – in Cuban cigar factories Lectores read stories to entertain the workers. Once, every English coal mine had its own brass band. Why not us? Why not art at our warehouse?
Which got us thinking so more; could the old unused mezzanine above our packing floor work as a socially distanced stage?
And could we share this with our farmers and our customers on some kind of video link-up?
A few phone calls later and I’m amazed at how connected and agile our arts community is.
Somehow, this coming Wednesday at 9.30am, just after smoko, there is going to be music at the Fair Food warehouse….
We’re calling it Live from the Packing Floor – the first gig features the joyful sounds of North of the river musical royal, Carl Pannuzzo.
And if you’re not working at the warehouse that day you can tune in to the live-stream right here
Have a great week