Aussie Country Music Artists On The COVID-19 Vaccination – Part 1

It’s been just over one month since the launch of #vaxthenation, which saw more than 400 of Australia’s biggest artists and performers join forces with leading tour promoters, music festivals, venues, ticketing agencies, record labels, comedy producers, theatre, opera and dance companies, media outlets, industry associations, peak bodies and global brands like YouTube and TikTok in a new campaign asking Australians to help ‘stop the interruptions’ and get vaccinated.

In response, Ben Mitchell released a song called Free The Nation and started a campaign of his own. Free The Nation Music has since seen over 170 vaccinated and unvaccinated musicians stand up for freedom against discrimination, segregation and fear, and promoting choice, respect and love for all.

However, the one thing we can all agree on is that the COVID-19 vaccine has left us divided.

So, we wanted to go to the source itself, and find out just what the country music community thinks about this topical subject. While it would be impossible to gauge every single opinion, we have carefully curated our twelve country artists to represent a range of different ages, genders, locations, family dynamics, life experiences as well as places they are at in their respected careers.

While not requested by the artists themselves, to allow a safe and open space to share their opinions freely without consequence, we have assigned each artist a random number and omitted key details to keep their anonymity.

In this twelve-part daily series, we asked our artists a range of taboo, topical and controversial questions to find out what the Australian country music community thinks of COVID-19.


For other artists in the series, go here >

Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash

Are you currently vaccinated or unvaccinated, and why did you make that decision?

Artist 1: I am double dose vaccinated. I chose to get vaccinated because I believe in the science of vaccinations, and that, with a large percentage of population who are vaccinated, we will be able to open up society. While it might not stop COVID, I do believe the public health officials’ advice around this and that general transmission will decrease with the more people that are actually vaccinated.

Do you think artists/performers should use their platform to encourage others to get vaccinated?

Artist 1: Absolutely. I haven’t done it per se, but certainly, I posted when I’ve been vaccinated. I try not to mix politics in my music, but if somebody asked me, I’m happy to put my name to it.

What is your opinion on vaccinated only events? For example, Big Red Bash and Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bash’s new ‘no jab, no jive’ policy, requiring ticket holders, artists, crew, volunteers and vendors over the age of 16 to be fully vaccinated to attend the events in 2022.

Artist 1: I’m supportive of vaccination only events. As a business, I think you have that right.

Would you mandate your own personal gigs be vaccinated only?

Artist 1: If I had those types of numbers, yes, I would. If I was playing Groundwater, and if that went vax only, I’ll be very supportive. But I will say this, what other artists have done in America, such as Jason Isbell and the whole range of other top artists, whilst they’ve copped some flak, they are demonstrating leadership for the industry and that country as a whole in terms of believing in the role that vaccination rates will play in returning society to normal.

Do you think those who choose not to be vaccinated should have the same freedoms as those who do and why?

Artist 1: When things do open up, I am supportive of businesses making their own choices. I don’t think it’s a government choice. We’re not talking about things that can’t be controlled, such as race, gender, etc. so, if businesses and hotels make the choice of being vaccinated only, I’m supportive of that, and you see that rolling out now in Europe and America and they’re a hell of a lot freer than we are. But I don’t think it should take away more base freedoms that we have in Australia, such as universal health care. But I think we should be encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.

Are you concerned that speaking out about the COVID-19 vaccine will impact your career in a negative way?

Artist 1: No, I just think everyone should go get vaccinated.

What are your opinions on people who don’t share your same beliefs on the COVID-19 vaccine?

Artist 1: It’s absolutely their right to disagree with me. I don’t judge them any less. That’s their right to be able to disagree. I’m pro-choice in the end on balance. However, if I was having a conversation with somebody, I’d be encouraging them to get vaccinated. We have a role to play in society, and part of that role is keeping society safe, trying to minimise mortality rate out of this insidious disease. So, I fully encourage you to get vaccinated, but I’m still supportive of people’s choice.

To those you have voiced your opinions to (whether it be to fans, friends, or family), what kind of reception have you received?

Artist 1: I haven’t voiced it publicly on social media. In general, other people I work with in music industry are very supportive. If they got to the point of being able to play gigs and make them vax only, or not play gigs because we’re locked down, they’d definitely choose the vax only approach.

Do you think your location has any influence on your decision to get vaccinated/be unvaccinated? For example, someone in a major city who have been largely affected by lockdowns might have more urgency to get vaccinated than those in regional areas/other states?

Artist 1: No, I keep an eye on the national and international picture. And, as soon as vaccinations were available to me, I jumped on it just for the good of myself and society.

How has COVID-19 impacted you and your career?

Artist 1: It’s delayed an album by a couple of years, I would have liked to have recorded the entire album In America. But it’s impacted touring mainly. What I’ve found is, touring is so important for building a fan base, so, if anything, it’s probably delayed that by a couple of years.

For other artists in the series, go here >

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