Splendour In The Grass festival co-founder Jessica Ducrou has called for the Australian Government to provide urgent support to the live music industry.
Upon accepting the awards earlier this week for Best Tourism Event for Splendour In The Grass 2019 and Event Producer of the Year at the 2020 Australian Event Awards, the national awards program and conference for the Australian events industry, Ducrou spoke out about the current uncertainties surrounding the industry.
“While I am absolutely thrilled to have received this recognition for the Splendour in the Grass team and also personally, it comes at a time when the live music industry is unable to operate and is in dire straits,” Ducrou said.
“While state governments have relaxed restrictions to allow 40,000 people to gather at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium for football finals and 11,000 at Royal Randwick for the races in the interest of economic recovery, there has been no such assistance for our Australian music festivals, which employed 9,176 FTE workers and injected over $2.7B into the Australian economy in 2019. An 86% loss (economic and jobs) is projected for 2020.
“Not $1 of the federal funding for arts and entertainment businesses has reached the industry as yet and it won’t until January 2021. The live music and events industry needs assistance now!”
Event Producer of the Year WINNER: Jessica Ducrou nominated by Secret Sounds Group pic.twitter.com/QFYCerQWCo
— TheEventAwards (@TheEventAwards) October 21, 2020
Ducrou continued to highlight ways in which other creative industries had received subsidies from the Government and suggested methods by which the live music industry should also benefit.
“We need the government to support the industry with a Business Interruption Fund, Event Cancellation Fund or Insurance, led by the industry and underwritten by Government, as has been provided to the film industry,” she said.
“We need a significant expansion of the RISE grant funding program, with a particular focus on assisting commercial, non-subsidised live entertainment operators to deliver live events in COVID-safe formats.
“We need a level playing field. Allowances and relaxations afforded to the racing and sporting industries should also apply to the live entertainment industry.”
Tickets to last year’s edition of Splendour sold out in a matter of hours. The North Byron Parklands event amassed 42,500 attendees on each of the three days it ran, and, according to a press release from the festival, generated an estimated $66million in gross regional product.
In June, organisers announced that the 2020 instalment of Splendour – and its 20th anniversary celebration – had been postponed to July 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic.