The arts industry has taken a massive hit from the fall out and new regulations of the coronavirus and some of the south-west's brightest music talents are facing unemployment.
Postponements and cancellations of shows and tours, including The Rubens and Didirri's Warrnambool concerts, have meant a dark cloud hangs over the vitality of many careers.
Australia's only charity for music emergency relief reports losses across the sector "amount to well over $100 million and are rising daily" since the pandemic outbreak.
Despite the devastation, artists are banding together to bring solace to people in isolation and taking innovative measures to ensure livelihoods continue.
While Didirri has been forced to postpone his show at the Lighthouse Theatre, the Warrnambool singer-songwriter is not letting that dampen his spirits. He participated in the live Instagram music festival Isol-Aid held over the past weekend and has released his latest song Don't fight with what you're fighting for.
"The decision to postpone the shows was made for me in the end out of respect for people's health," he said.
"We'll be back, just when the timing's right.
"I've been taken aback by people's generosity saying they'll hold onto their tickets and support me through this time.
"I think the musicians were really hit first with all the cancellations.
"It's an interesting time and an inspiring time to make art."
Didirri brought forward the release of his latest track in hopes of uplifting spirits.
With his ethereal voice, the wordsmith discusses hypocrisy and sticking to morals.
"It speaks to what I want from people right now, to practise what we preach," he said.
"When I wrote the song, I meant it in a more general sense. As I write philosophically, my lyrics tend to fit what's going on.
"This wasn't going to be a single but my team thought now was the right time to release it."
Didirri hopes he'll be able to come back to Warrnambool's Lighthouse Theatre at the end of this year for his intimate tour.
In the meantime, he has entered his creative bubble, focusing on spending his time well and will participate in Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation's Together At Home Instragram live stream on Sunday at 12pm.
"The business side of my brain has slowed to a stop and the importance of what we do is taking over," Didirri said.
"Music can be really helpful for people to stop them going nutty in their homes.
"Right now the elephant in the room is subject number one and I think it's putting the complaints of last year into perspective.
"I was so stressed about touring and the public's opinion of what I was doing. Now that's gone away and I'm talking frankly, I'm feeling heard and helping where I can.
"I'm gardening, writing lots of music, practising yoga and trying to eat well.
"While people were out hoarding food, I was hoarding board games so I'll be busy."
Up and coming Killarney artist Nancie Schipper also performed for Isol-Aid and works four casual jobs to support herself.
On the day iconic Bendigo music festival Groovin' the Moo was to announce Schipper as its opening act, it was forced to cancel the May event.
"I really want to be honest about what's happening," she said.
"I spent three days getting a claim ready for Centrelink because there's no casual work.
"Everything I earn from my gigs and royalties goes back into making music and the money I earn from other casual work is how I support myself.
"My main source of income is teaching and we've switched to online lessons but a lot of parents are in the same boat with their finances and have had to pull their kids out."
Despite the time of uncertainty and having to cancel all upcoming shows, Schipper is hoping to be proactive with her time.
"Isol-Aid was a really good opportunity and I saw more traction on my Instagram than if I was performing in front of 400 people," she said.
"I've always been too scared to do live videos because when you finish there's no interaction. But I had so much fun and it was so great sitting at home.
"I've been working on some stuff and I think this is a really good opportunity to keep writing with no pressure to release so I can perfect things.
"I'm so lucky, there's a lot of people who had shows, flights and visas booked. People have lost tens of thousands of dollars and it's not just musicians; it's everyone in the music industry."
Portland jazz-infusion artist Sleuth has taken to Facebook to hold a string of live Bunker Hangout concerts.
"It's hard to find a live performance venue here for my genre so I tend to push into Canada, United States and United Kingdom," she said.
"The advice I was given was to get online and to share authentically.
"The COVID-19 gave me impetus to do this more."
Sleuth's Bunker Hangouts sees her perform on her make-shift stage in her garage and so far, nothing but positivity has resulted.
"I didn't realise how much I really needed this connection," she said.
"When I was playing I could see thumbs up and heart symbols flying across the screen and I needed that endorsement and reciprocation. As an artists; your whole identity is around the claps you receive.
"The epidemic gives me time to finish my album and the live videos give me the opportunity to connect with my audience and keep that traction going until its released."
Coach and creative mentor of MOVE.SHAKE.CREATE., Sheridan Buscombe works with a wide-range of artists to progress their careers, harness creativity and explore their purpose and drive.
She has already seen many artists struggle through this uncertain period.
"There's a number of things people felt straight away; grief from loss of tours, loss of momentum around their careers and loss of income," she said.
"Other people are beginning to find the opportunity to reconnect to core creativity spirit. A lot are returning to their relationship with music before attempt to have career.
"They're heading back to their roots."
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Mrs Buscombe works closely with Killing Heidi lead singer Ella Hooper together they have launched an online group for creatives to band together and discuss financial options and share their work.
"First of all I think Ella and I went into shock," Mrs Buscombe said.
"Quite quickly I felt the energy around my business and I knew straight away I would provide a service people would need to budget out.
"I just wanted to respond and do something empowering. Whatever happens it's still important for me to service and work because that's what I drive meaning from."
Through the uncertainty, Mrs Buscombe is positive creatives will come out the other side flourishing.
"It's a challenging period but I think creatives are in a great position to connect back to their art and it's meaning," she said.
"I do think this is an invitation for stillness and rest as people have been living such busy lives.
"After people have nurtured themselves then I think the potential for growth is tremendous.
"My expectation is that we'll see profound works of art in all forms come out of this."
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