TEG Dainty’s Guns N’ Roses Australian arena tour and a range of music festival organisers are among the recipients of funding in the sixth round of the federal government’s Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) scheme.
Announced yesterday (December 21), 63 organisations will share in over $19.5million in federal funding in the latest round. Among them, concert promoters TEG Dainty have received $600,000 to to assist with rescheduling their Guns N’ Roses arena tour, which has long been delayed due to COVID-19.
The tour was initially scheduled to kick off last month, but was pushed back to a year to November 2022 due to the pandemic. In a statement at the time, CEO Paul Dainty said that while they “worked for months” with state government to try and make the tour feasible, it became clear the tour would not be able to proceed as planned.
“It has taken time to finalise a plan where we could be confident of completing a national tour of Australia next year,” he said. “This will be the biggest stadium rock tour of summer 2022 with hundreds of people on the road, a massive production and logistics involved.”
A range of music festivals also received funding, including promoter Loudness, who received $824,000 for its regional Wine Machine festival. Dark Mofo organisers DarkLab were also granted $400,000 for a “reimagined” version of the festival.
Melbourne’s RISING Festival organisers, the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, received $575,000 to hold an event called The Wilds, a “winter art park and live music hub” held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
$1million was also allocated to the return of Queensland country music festival Gympie Muster after a two-year absence due to the pandemic. Outdoor Music Festival Group, who organise Birdsville Big Red Bash and Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bash received $860,000 to stage both of the remote events.
Individual artists who have also received funding in the latest round include The Rubens, who have received $227,600 for a one-day music festival in Camden, NSW. Melbourne synthesist Harvey Sutherland has also received $55,6000 for a national tour in 2022.
Outside of live music, major recipients included theatre producer Crossroads Live, who received almost $1million to stage a “reimagined interpretation” of the 1991 musical The Secret Garden, which will return to Australia for the first time in two and a half decades.
Sydney Festival received $600,000 for an all-Australian stage adaptation of 1984 film The Neverending Story, while GWB Entertainment received $890,000 for a stage adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.
Recipients of funding in previous RISE funding rounds have included Byron Bay’s Bluesfest, Falls Festival, WOMADelaide and Good Things in July, along with Splendour in the Grass, Beyond the Valley and more in May.
Originally announced in June of 2020, the government has been criticised for the way it’s handled its $200million RISE Fund. In July, it was revealed that, 13 months after first being announced, only half of the funding the government promised to help salvage Australia’s struggling arts and entertainment industries had actually been delivered.
Some have also questioned the allocation of over $1.4million (across two separate funding rounds) for Ryan “The Brickman” McNaught of Nine’s Lego Masters, for an exhibition of Jurassic World scenes recreated with LEGO along with a national tour of his favourite LEGO sculptures.
Earlier today, Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke criticised the government’s allocation in the most recent funding round. “Yesterday the Govt announced who gets taxpayers’ money for the Arts RISE grants. $600k for the Guns N’ Roses tour,” Burke tweeted.
“And still not a dollar to support a COVID insurance scheme for Australian artists. Does Mr Morrison know what’s happening to the sector?”