Live and local gets a boost at last with new program giving punters money back on entertainment experiences 

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Live and local gets a boost at last with new program giving punters money back on entertainment experiences 

Words by Dr John Lamp

A seriously annoying aspect of the post-COVID entertainment assistance packages, up till now, has been the focus of these packages. 

Really, a concert of the top end of the music food chain at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl is all very well, but it’s not helping the vast majority of musicians. In some ways, it’s a bit like giving grants to Rolls Royce and saying that’s fixed the local car industry! It’s just completely misdirected. 

Don’t misunderstand, the big events are great, but the majority of the music industry is not at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl or on The Voice, it’s in the pubs, clubs and local venues. Those venues, and our local musos who provide the entertainment at those venues, host our local musos – the new ones starting out, the ones trying to make a career, and those who are now relying on local gigs as their main income.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

So this week, it was excellent to see that there is a new Victorian Government initiative – a $30 million Victorian Entertainment Program to encourage Victorians to get out and enjoy a wide range of entertainment experiences – from catching a movie or music gig, to enjoying a night at the theatre, a family visit to a museum, and much more.

This program will provide you with a 25% discount on any eligible entertainment charge of over $40. It’s definitely a major incentive to get back onboard The Blues Train, and into other such venues in our area.

The process is simple

  1. Make sure you get a receipt
  2. Upload it, plus your details on the Entertainment website
  3. The rebate is direct deposited into your bank account.

Even better, the Victorian Entertainment Program is running alongside the Victorian Dining Program, which offers an additional 25% back on dining anywhere in Victoria outside the City of Melbourne municipality from Monday to Thursday.

Of course, there are limits … surprise, surprise. The $30m is first in first serve, get your skates on! You can claim a max on $125 overall, still that’s $500 of entertainment!

Paul Kelly at the Geelong Arts Centre is $97.50, that’s just under a $25 rebate! 

I don’t know about you, but I’m off to the Blues Train website. They are just back running again, and their lineups look good. And where’s that ticket for the Great Australian Beer Festival – entertainment in a nutshell (or a stubbie!).

Get the full details here.