A survey conducted by a charity for musicians in economic hardship has suggested that around one-third of music industry workers have left or want to leave Hong Kong, as prolonged Covid restrictions have left them jobless.
The Musicians Foundation spoke to 465 workers this month. It said they have been unable to make a living for the better part of the past two years, as music venues were closed or live performances were prohibited.
The group's founder Chris B, who's a singer and guitarist, said that's likely to be the reason why more than half of the respondents said they suffered from anxiety and depression, and a third were in debt.
The results from the online survey also found that 11 percent of the interviewees had already left Hong Kong, and that a quarter wanted to do so.
“If we lose more key creative people as these restrictions continue, a very valuable part of Hong Kong’s arts sector will disappear, making it even harder to... reignite the cultural buzz that gives Hong Kong its special character,” she said.
She called on the authorities to revoke a newly-extended ban on live performances, saying the sector should not be singled out for restrictions when other activities are allowed.
"The government can just follow exactly the same procedure that it does for the other workers in a venue. They require them to be triple vaccinated and do a RAT test every three days... at the bars. So it's easy enough to do the same thing for people in the music industry," she explained.
"Almost everyone in the music industry is triple vaccinated and they have been for a long time. They are so ready... to just get back to work."