The NSW government has announced a support package for major events in the state that are “cancelled or significantly disrupted” as a result of a COVID-19 public health order.
According to a media release, the scheme – dubbed the Event Saver Fund – will from today allow organisers of major events shut down or disrupted by a public health order “to pay suppliers, staff and recovery other costs,” and is intended to provide “the financial security and certainty to plan and deliver their future events.”
The Event Saver Fund was first announced by the NSW government in October of last year, promising to provide support to organisers of events that were cancelled or disrupted due to public health orders, but with few other details available at the time. More information on the scheme and how to apply is now available at the Create NSW website.
The news comes as multiple large-scale events in the state have been cancelled or postponed in recent weeks due to the current outbreak of COVID-19. In a statement, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the fund would “ensure that organisers aren’t left high and dry as we work through this latest phase of the pandemic.”
Last week, the NSW edition of the Grapevine Gathering wine and music festival was cancelled by organisers just a few days before it was due to take place after the government prohibited singing and dancing by patrons at music festivals in the state.
Earlier in the month, the Tamworth Country Music Festival was postponed “given the current state of COVID transmission”, with Sydney’s King Street Carnival also pushed back. “With case numbers spiraling and the ongoing uncertainty around the current outbreak, we as organisers don’t feel that now is the right time to be bringing large crowds into the local community,” organisers said in a statement at the time.
Last week, multiple key industry bodies – including ARPA AMCOS, ARIA PPCA, the Australian Festival Association, Live Performance Australia and more – made fresh calls for a government-backed insurance scheme for live music and events, similar to the government’s Temporary Interruption Fund for the film and television sector.
“Since the Omicron wave has hit around the country the live music and events sector has once again been smashed with restrictive health orders and COVID spread leading once again to mass cancellations and rescheduled events,” read a joint statement from the group.