Numerous Australian artists have hit out at the federal government’s RISE arts funding after it was revealed concert promoters TEG Dainty had been given a $600,000 grant to go towards the rescheduled Australian leg of Guns N’ Roses stadium tour (of which they are promoting), according to NME.
It’s the second payment to go to TEG Dainty for the tour, with $750,000 awarded in the fourth round of funding in July, to aid the same tour.
Australian rapper Illy has led criticism of the move, calling out the lack of support shown towards smaller and independent artists, via an Instagram post.
“Hey guys! Remember the last 2 years where the entire music industry has been on its knees and beaten to within an inch of its life?” the rapper said.
“And how many people working in the industry fell through the qualifying cracks for support and have barely scraped by, or had to change industries?
“And how gigs and festivals EVEN NOW are canceling at a moment’s notice, with NO insurance for the promoters/venues/artists involved? Well good news, the fkn Guns N Roses got three-quarters of a million in grants from the government.”
“How good is a feel-good story! I’m just glad the money’s going to the people who need it. Hope guns n roses are ok.”
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There has been criticism from political corners too, with Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke tweeting: “Yesterday the Govt announced who gets taxpayers’ money for the Arts RISE grants. $600k for the Guns N’ Roses tour.
“And still not a dollar to support a COVID insurance scheme for Australian artists. Does Mr. Morrison know what’s happening to the sector?”
Yesterday the Govt announced who gets taxpayers’ money for the Arts RISE grants. $600k for the Guns N’ Roses tour.
And still not a dollar to support a COVID insurance scheme for Australian artists.
Does Mr Morrison know what’s happening to the sector?#arts #auspol
— Tony Burke (@Tony_Burke) December 21, 2021
In response to the reaction, Arts Minister Paul Fletcher told NME the government was “unapologetic about wanting to see arts and entertainment events reach out to the widest possible audiences.”
The Morrison Government’s objective, in providing this record level of funding for arts and entertainment, is that as the vaccine rollout continues at a strong pace and states and territories open up, arts companies, promoters, and festivals are ready to go.
“This is an important stage in the resurgence of Australia’s arts and entertainment sector. The purpose of the RISE program is to put our performers on stage and get backstage crew back at work – as well as the front of house staff, ushers, box office, and security.”
TEG Dainty is yet to comment on the move.
The Gunners meanwhile were originally slated to perform down under this year, but have moved the dates to November 2022. Details below.
Guns n’ Roses Australian Tour 2022 (Rescheduled dates)
Friday, 18th November
Optus Stadium, Perth
Tuesday, 22nd November
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Thursday, 24th November
Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast
Sunday, 27th November
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Tuesday, 29th November
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Saturday, 3rd December
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne