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

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

Vera Blue at Geelong's Wool Exchange 2017. Photo by Opus Imagery

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

Providing some good news for your Sunday, the Victorian Government has announced a $13million funding package to help Victoria’s $1.7 billion live music industry recover from the economic fallout of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Designed to assist the scene to reopen once restrictions ease, the package includes $9million in grants for 106 live music venues across the state, to help them survive the lockdown period.

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

Regional venues will also score funding, including the beloved Queenscliff’s Blues Train, the Wool Exchange, Pistol Pete’s Food n Blues, Piano Bar Geelong, Beavs Lounge Bar and Bloom Bar & Lounge in Geelong, Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal, San Remo’s Westernport Hotel, The Dart and Marlin and Hotel Warrnambool, and The Eastern, Hop Temple, Trades Hall Ballarat and Volta – Arts & Culture in Ballarat.

The funding will cover rental, insurance and utilities costs, as well as aid in offsetting costs associated with enforcing patron quotas and density restrictions. The venues are set to start receiving funds as early as October as Melbourne begins the process of reopening and the venues finalise their COVID Safe plans.

Alongside these grants, $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 also separate 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.

“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.”

It comes as Victoria today recorded another marked dip in new cases, with just 14 detected in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Six of these are linked to a number of Melbourne families who breached lockdown by visiting one another’s homes, bringing the total cases connected to that cluster to 40.

You can read more about it here.