‘It doesn’t have to be this way’: Greens call for state public insurance for live music venues

Get the latest from Beat


‘It doesn’t have to be this way’: Greens call for state public insurance for live music venues

Melbourne live music venues
Photo by Ian Laidlaw
Words by Staff Writer

The Victorian Greens have called on the state government to save struggling smaller live music venues across the state by providing insurance through the state’s public insurer.

On top of rising rents and the cost-of-living, astronomical public liability insurance hikes have put Victoria’s live music scene under enormous pressure. Many have already closed their doors and others are considering their options.

The Greens say offering venues affordable insurance through the government’s own provider would provide a lifeline to the many venues being pushed to the brink.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

Victorian Greens arts spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri, said more and more venues would be forced to shut their doors as long as they are beholden to unreasonable and arbitrary insurance price hikes.

She said the state government could offer cheaper insurance through the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) as they do for the construction industry. In 2021 during COVID, the government directed VMIA to offer insurance for live music and community events to cover them in case of cancellation. There’s no reason they couldn’t do it again.

Ms de Vietri’s office has heard from several smaller live music venues in her electorate who are struggling to make ends meet, including The Old Bar, the Nightcat and The Tote. The Greens have also just launched a petition calling on the government to offer smaller live music venues affordable insurance, which has nearly 1,000 signatures already.

Over the weekend the government re-announced a live-music grant from the previous year’s budget, however the Greens have called this a band-aid solution that won’t provide live music venues with any long-term stability or reassurance.

“Live music is part of Melbourne’s beating heart,” Victorian Greens arts spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri said.

“Losing Melbourne’s iconic live music scene would hollow out our culture here in Melbourne. What would we be without Cash Savage, without King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard or Courtney Barnett?

“It doesn’t have to be this way – our government could provide a lifeline to these venues by providing cheaper insurance. Instead they’re proposing short-term, band-aid solutions that won’t provide the security the live music scene needs.

“With the State Budget around the corner, the Greens are calling on Labor to save live music in Victoria before it’s too late.”

Find out more about the Victorian Greens’ policies here.