Now, perhaps more than ever, is the time to support local musicians and artists by buying and streaming their work believes Newcastle singer-songwriter Sandy Louise.
As government policy in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 on Monday further restricted clubs and hotels from operating, Louise was forced to cancel the launch for her new album, Blue Skies Open Eyes, which was due to be held at Carrington Bowling Club on Sunday.
After two-and-a-half years of writing and recording the album and organising a launch with support performances from Mackenzie Lee, Georgina Grimshaw, Health Sketchley and producer Bill Chambers, Louise said she was "gutted" to have to postpone the event.
"All along as coronavirus started impacting us I had made the decision to go ahead [with the launch]," Louise said.
"If this was going to be my last gig indefinitely I wanted it to be my launch. After all, this is 2.5 years of my hard work. I know I'm not alone. This is a very trying time for all musicians and so many more professions."
Louise will still release her album on March 29 through iTunes and other streaming platforms.
She will sell hard copies of the album for $25 each (includes postage and handling) through her Facebook page.
Blue Skies Open Eyes was produced by Chambers, mastered by Jeff McCormack and features 11 of Louise's original songs. One was co-written with Grimshaw, another Newcastle artist.
It follows Louise's first release, Right Beside You (2014), and The Other Side (2017).
"As long as I can remember I've always loved to sing. My songwriting has been such an important outlet for my life. It captivates who I am, my life experiences and reflects my heart and soul," Louise said.
"It's important to me to be true to myself in all I do and my songwriting shows my honesty and what's truly important in my life.
"The Other Side was about the life trials I've been through, about becoming stronger and wiser.
"This album is a continuation of that journey, about being a strong independent woman, working hard and falling back in love. There's songs about friendships, songs describing characteristics about people, building individual strength."
In addition to creating and performing her own songs, Louise is a passionate supporter of Newcastle's music industry.
As Newcastle's regional coordinator for the Australian Songwriters Association, Louise hosts Wax Lyrical, an open mic event for songwriters, at Carrington Bowling Club on the second Monday of the month and Songwriters Sing at the Crown and Anchor each fortnight on Tuesday.
"I love supporting live local and original music. It's been a great way to network with musicians across many genres and styles."