Victorian government distributes $857,000 in grants to music sector

A variety of artists, record labels and more were able to secure funding

103 recipients from the music sector have received Victorian government grants totalling $857,000 today to help out during the coronavirus pandemic.

Magic Dirt frontwoman Adalita, singer-songwriter Jess Ribeiro and labels Good Manners, Bad Apples and Milk! Records are among the recipients to receive financial assistance from the government.

The grants were conceived in light of the struggling music sector induced by the coronavirus pandemic, following the Victorian government’s $15million pledge to local live music venues in a bid to save the industry.

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Adalita, who received $5,000 through the Sustaining Creative Workers program, will use the funds to complete a new solo album.

“You want to be self sufficient, but this album’s been five years in the making and, while I can only speak for musicians, everyone wants a gig and they’ve just been wiped out,” Adalita told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I can’t help but feel the fire is still stoked in my belly and I’m determined to keep going, but the unknown can be really scary. I’ve been ok with the isolating but there’s a lot of horrible stuff happening to a lot of people, to a lot of businesses and sectors. It makes you sad and anxious for everybody.”

Online music festival Isol-Aid also received a $200,000 grant to continue operating, with the funds going to its six staff and performance fees for artists. While early editions of the festival only involved Australian musicians, it has since featured artists from around the world, including Julien Baker, Shura and more. The virtual festival is up to its 19th consecutive iteration this weekend.

Victoria’s Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley told the Herald the government was “proud to back our music industry to keep working behind the scenes now, and to plan for the future.”

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“Victoria’s $1.7 billion music industry is globally renowned but the pandemic has had a devastating effect,” he said.

“These latest grants are part of our ongoing work to protect music jobs and help local music businesses survive.”

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