Aussie Country Music Artists On The COVID-19 Vaccination – Part 9

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 Kai Kuczera on Unsplash

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

Artist 9: I got vaccinated because when you’ve dedicated your whole life to something you love, like I have with music – it’s my passion, it’s my love, and I’ve worked so hard on it for so long – I’ll take a risk on a vaccination, because if I can’t continue to do what I do, I don’t know what my purpose is. That was a no brainer for me to get vaccinated, but it was my choice.

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

Artist 9: It’s not our job as musicians to be telling people what to do with their bodies. I’m pro-choice. I decided to not be part of the #vaxthenation campaign because who am I to tell someone else what to do with their body? What I do with my body is my business and that should be the same for everybody else. I think the intention behind that campaign was good, but even the hashtag “#vaxthenation” sounds very demanding and too aggressive as a slogan. When I read the email asking me to be part of it, I immediately felt uncomfortable in my gut and I decided to politely decline. I’m vaccinated myself, so I don’t have a problem with the vaccine, but I totally understand why people are unsure or nervous about it. I was nervous about it. I’m unsure about it still.

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 9: I understand it and feel like they’re more of a “cover your arse” kind of event. I don’t have a problem with them, but, at the same time, if I was asked to play an event that wasn’t a no vax only gig, I’d still do it. I’m indifferent to it really, so that’s up to the organisers.

Would you mandate your own personal gigs be vaccinated only?

Artist 9: I wouldn’t go out of my way to make it like that. It would be a venue decision. I get that people would be annoyed, but I would like people to understand that it wouldn’t be my decision and I’m sure there’d be other opportunities where they can see me play. After losing nearly two years of work, I’m not going to turn down a gig because it’s vax only, but I’m also not going to turn down a gig because it isn’t that policy. If I get a crutch, I’m going to take it.

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

Artist 9: That’s a tricky question because I think yes, they should, but, at the same time, I understand that that’s not going to be the case. It comes down to equality. No matter your race or gender, we’re all people. If you truly believe in equality then they should have equal rights. It sucks there are industries that are mandatory vaccination. It must be hard for people who, their choice is, either do something they’re not comfortable with or lose their job.

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

Artist 9: I don’t know if it would impact my career, but I don’t need to have arguments for the sake of having arguments with people on social media. It’s such a highly debated topic. No matter which side, no matter what you post, it’s gonna cause issues. People are looking for a fight at the moment because there’s so much frustration and angst and people are on the edge and, if they’ve got a chance to have a go, they will. I don’t need that in my life.

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

Artist 9: Other people are entitled to their opinions. I don’t put any my opinions on social media because it’s same with anything whether it’s politics, religion, veganism, each to their own, but don’t push it on anyone. I just don’t like preachiness. I avoid that conversation. It’s such a such a hot topic that people are so passionate about the moment so in disagreeing with them, you end up in an argument. Let them have that opinion and they should respect yours as well.

All we’re doing is causing more segregation and more hostility between people. It’s really dividing our nation and the world. We should be trying to get back together. We’re already fighting something that the best remedy is for us to not be together and then this wedge is being driven further in between us. The biggest issue I have is that the awareness of being vaccinated has now become a bullying and a peer pressuring tactic. That’s not okay. It’s not a matter of listening to conspiracies, it’s just a matter of observing objectively. It’s obvious what’s happening.

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

Artist 9: I did do a post that I was vaccinated and I had a friend message me that she was disappointed. I said, “That’s fine. Even though you’re so passionate on the anti-vax side of things, I know who you are as a person and I love you for it.” There was a lot of support with that photo as well. The thing is, I wasn’t preachy about what I’d done and I didn’t encourage anybody to go do it. I didn’t use my platform to promote it. If I’m gonna promote anything on my platform it’s my music.

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 9: It did in the fact that I want to be able to leave my state but my decision was career based, not location.

How has COVID-19 impacted you and your career?

Artist 9: I released a new album this year and it’s hard because, when you feel like you’ve got momentum, you don’t want to lose that momentum. Being cooped up for so long and shut down is hard on motivation. But to not be on the road and not be performing to people and having a true gauge on what’s happening with my career, it is difficult.

For other artists in the series, go here >

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