“Brutal”. “Unexpected”. “Radical”. “Exciting”. “Mutable”. “A roller-coaster”.

When Broadsheet sat down with eight influential Australians to discuss the recovery of our cities and cultural industries, for our film What Comes Next, their views on where we’ve been, and where we’re heading, could not have been more different.

For Justin Hemmes, the CEO of Merivale and one of the country’s most influential hospitality leaders, the roaring twenty-twenties is on the horizon.

Never miss a moment. Make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter today.


For award-winning musician Clare Bowditch, who has advocated passionately for the live-music sector since the pandemic began, it’s still far too early to use the word “recovery” to talk about the Australian music scene.

For acclaimed restaurateur Jerry Mai, there is cautious confidence. But she admits it's still impossible to make long-term, or even short-term, plans for her hospitality businesses.

For treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who held the country’s purse strings during this unprecedented period of upheaval, there are enormous structural shifts that the pandemic has set in motion, but promising signs that the worst is behind us.

More than two years since the pandemic upended culture and city life in Australia, and decimated the country’s CBDs, it’s clear “recovery” isn’t a simple or uniform process. Our hospitality, arts and live entertainment sectors are all experiencing distinct paths out of the pandemic lockdowns, and some are further along than others.

What Comes Next offers a snapshot – eight people’s distinct, and often contrasting, views of where our cities and culture industries are right now, two years into the pandemic, and what the immediate obstacles and opportunities are.

The film also features Anthea Loucas Bosha (CEO of Food + Drink Victoria), Gill Minervini (Vivid Sydney's festival director), Sophie Travers (CEO of Collingwood Yards arts precinct) and leading contemporary artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran.

Australia’s cultural industries were among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and our CBDs have been irrecoverably changed. So, what comes next?


For more Broadsheet film, head here.