Government says live music can ‘return stronger than ever’ with $20 million funding

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Government says live music can ‘return stronger than ever’ with $20 million funding

live music

The Victorian state government has announced a $20 million Live Music Restart package to support the return of live music.

The funding will aim to assist Melbourne live music venues to get shows back on their stages, with $8 million to recruit and train new staff, invest in COVIDSafe infrastructure and get more musicians and industry professionals back to work.

Music festivals will also receive $8 million to help them recover from the uncertainty and impact of rescheduled and cancelled events due to the pandemic.

What you need to know

  • The state government has announced $20 million in funding for live music venues and festivals
  • Venues and festivals split $8 million each for staff and infrastructure costs, with a further $4 million for CBD events
  • The government will also establish a $230 million insurance scheme for events cancelled for public health measures

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

The government has also announced an Australian-first event interruption insurance product, hoping to give organisers of creative festivals, business conferences and sporting and community events the confidence to plan and stage future events.

The 12-month scheme, subsidised by the Government and delivered by the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA), will insure up to $230 million of events against cancellation due to public health measures, or where events have reduced capacity due to restrictions.

The insurance scheme responds to calls from the sector to address a gap in the market.

Finally, a further $4 million will bring music performances to the CBD and inner-city, complementing a previously announced $5 million for regional and outer-suburban events.

The CBD and inner-city live music funding will go towards holding music events in laneways, public spaces and venues to enliven Melbourne, which has seen foot traffic decimated by the pandemic and shifting work arrangements.

The government is hoping the live music package will be enough to attract visitors to the CBD and other inner-city areas and boosting local businesses, while towns across Victoria will see live music throughout summer.

The Andrews government has faced continued criticism from the live events sector for months of uncertainty around reopening roadmaps for music venues, despite sports events facing looser restrictions throughout the pandemic.

The government announced recently that when the state hits the 90% double-dose vaccinated threshold – still due for around November 24 – capacity limits will finally end for live music venues, paving the way for small interior bars and clubs to finally reopen.

The government says Victorians can expect a “huge season of live music”, with an extensive program in the city and around regional Victoria over summer.

“Victoria is Australia’s music heartland and we’re making sure the industry can return stronger than ever and people can enjoy a summer of gigs and festivals,” creative industries minister Danny Pearson said.

“This package will help our music industry get up and running quickly, giving venues the confidence to throw open their doors and get people back to work on stage and behind the scenes.”

The Live Music Restart package has been developed following consultation with the music industry and adds to a range of business support provided to the sector during the pandemic, through initiatives like the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund, the Sustaining Creative Workers fund and the Live Performance Support Program.

Funding will be available through Creative Victoria, with application details to be announced soon.