Victorian Government announces $13million funding package for live music sector

To aid the reopening of the state’s live music industry

The Victorian Government has today (September 20) announced a $13million funding package for the state’s live music sector.

The funding aims to help Victoria’s live music industry recover from the economic fallout of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, assisting the scene to reopen once restrictions ease.

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The package includes $9million in grants for 106 live music venues across the state, to help them survive the lockdown period.

Metro venues set to receive up to $130,000 in grants include the Northcote Social Club, Loop in the CBD, Richmond’s Corner Hotel, Collingwood’s Grace Darling and Footscray’s The Night Heron.

Regional venues such as Queenscliff’s Blues Train, Geelong’s the Wool Exchange and San Remo’s Westernport Hotel will also score funding.

As well as covering rental, insurance and utilities costs, the grants will also aid in offsetting costs associated with enforcing patron quotas and density restrictions.

$3million of the funds will go towards the Government’s Victorian Music Industry Recovery program, offering grants of $4,000-$50,000 to help bookers, artists, managers, road crews and more find COVID-safe ways of working. There are seperate funding streams for First Nations applicants, deaf applicants and those with disability.

The remaining $1.2million will be distributed to ten music organisations and peak industry bodies, to deliver development programs for music industry professionals in Victoria. Recipients of the funding include The Push’s youth-led label Push Records, a training and mentorship program for roadies by CrewCare and Songlines Aboriginal Music Corporation’s creative development program for First Nations artists.

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“In ordinary times, Victorian music venues hosts tens of thousands of gigs each year – reaching millions. We don’t want to lose Victoria’s music scene,” Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement.

“We’ll continue to support our venues, our musicians, and the many workers who bring this $1.7 billion industry to life are able to reopen stronger than ever and welcome us back for a COVID Normal summer.”

Victoria’s live music sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with venues banding together for the Save Our Scene campaign in June.

The State Government has announced various funding programs over the past few months, including a $32million arts package in May and $15million for venues in July.

The state has been in stage four lockdown since early August, with restrictions set to be scaled back from September 28 if the number of average daily cases remains low.

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