Fender hopes to provide much-needed support to Australian musicians, road crew and industry workers who have been impacted by the pandemic

Fender Music Australia Pty Ltd (FMA) has announced a partnership with Australian music charity, Support Act to raise funds for music industry professionals whose livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

Offering the chance to win one of four Fender guitars signed by some of Australia’s most respected artists in addition to a Limited-Edition #SupportLiveMusic Guitar Strap, the brand hopes to provide much-needed support to Australian musicians, road crew and industry workers who have been impacted by the pandemic.

“With thousands of Australian artists, crew and other music professionals having lost their livelihoods due to the cancellation of concerts, festivals, tours and live shows, Fender is proud to support the industry in need,” said Fender Music Australia General Manager, Mark Amory.

“Support Act is an incredibly important charity, and the Australian music community needs their help now more than ever. Musicians have always been generous in rallying behind a worthy cause by organising benefit concerts and other charitable events. We feel it’s imperative to ‘return the favour’ and give our support to the music community, which now finds itself needing a helping hand,” he said.

Fender has donated three Stratocaster guitars from their popular Player series and one Lead series model guitar to Support Act for the Australian Guitar Raffle, which have been signed by local music heroes including Cold Chisel, The Hoodoo Gurus and Violent Soho.

One guitar also features custom artwork hand-painted by Daniel Johns (Solo Artist, The Dissociatives, Dreams, Silver Chair). Fans can purchase raffle tickets via Givergy for only AUD$5/£2.75 with Fender’s profits going to the Support Act Relief Fund.

“For most of us, working in music is a labour of love and we do it without any safety net; we don’t get sick pay, penalty rates, paid leave or superannuation, and most people eke out a living from gig to gig,” said Dave Faulkner of the Hoodoo Gurus.

“With the shutdown of live music due to COVID-19 there has been an unprecedented demand for help from Support Act and its resources are being stretched way beyond the limit,” he said.

Fender has also released a highly limited-edition #SupportLiveMusic Guitar Strap, featuring the popular hashtag and available in five striking colours including Black and White, Red and White, Yellow and Green and Pink and Black. The guitar straps (RRP AUD$35/£19.22) will be available for purchase from a selection of Australian Fender Dealers, with all of Fender’s profits donated to Support Act.

Support Act is Australia’s only charity delivering crisis relief services to artists, crew and music workers as a result of ill health, injury, a mental health problem, or some other crisis that impacts on their ability to work in music. So far, losses across the sector amount to well over AUD$350m/£192m.

Established in 1997, their goal is to provide breathing space to help members of the music industry get back on track. Their support levels include assistance with rent or mortgage payments, medical bills, funeral costs and credit card debt. Support Act also offers a Wellbeing Helpline – a free, confidential 24/7 counselling service available to anyone working in Australian music who needs to talk about any aspect of their mental health.

It can be accessed by calling #1-800-959-500. Qualified counsellors can also help with career insecurity, financial management, grief counselling, alcohol and substance dependency, homelessness, creative disputes and relationship breakdown.

“Support Act is very excited to partner with industry leaders, Fender, in fundraising efforts for the music industry during this current crisis. COVID-19 has decimated the Australian live music industry, and put a strain on all involved – from artists to managers, crew, production, promoters, venues and many others,” said Clive Miller, Support Act CEO.

“The recovery period will be hard, and an uncertain time frame. Funds raised from Fender’s fundraising through the sale of Support Act branded guitar straps, and the raffle of signed Fender guitars, will go a long way to helping those in crisis in the Australian Music Industry,” he said.

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