âSome people have been financially on a knife edge this whole time,â she said. âNot everyone can be supported. “
Singer-songwriter Ruby Jones said the past 18 months have been “the biggest challenge of my career,” having only played a few shows, the last here in April.
Jones teaches singing online and has received “a few scholarships here and there”.
She believes the arts have been “systematically ignored throughout the pandemic” in terms of government assistance.
She said Brunswick Ballroom’s free meal gesture was lovely.
âIt’s nice to feel that your community is still there,â she said. âMany of us on the Melbourne music scene when the pandemic hit we lost our livelihoods, but we also lost our community and our sense of identity. Having something like this is a reminder that your friends are here. And that these places are still there even though we cannot access them.
Mr Ewing, an actor-musician who sang with the Rolling Thunder Vietnam stage show before the pandemic, said the ballroom survived on government grants.
âBut it was incredibly difficult, for our site and for each site. We just can’t wait to resume the opening.
Brunswick Ballroom has already scheduled two shows for the end of the lockdown – one in the downstairs foyer on October 26 and one on November 5, upstairs in the ballroom, with performers to be announced.