The Victorian government has announced $13 million in funding for the recovery of the state’s live music industry, as it looks to rebuild when coronavirus-related lockdowns are eased. Over 100 live venues in Victoria – including Northcote Social Club, The Grace Darling, Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal, The Corner Hotel, The Night Heron and many more – will share in a total of $9 million worth of grants as part of the Victorian Live Music Venues program’s first phase.
The grants will help to support venues that have closed due to lockdown restrictions, covering “urgent overheads” and assisting in putting COVID-safe measures in places. Looking to the future, the grants will help venues reopen and hold shows once it’s safe to do so, along with enforcing patron caps. A second round of grants for other eligible venues will be announced “in due course”.
Musicians and other industry workers are also poised to receive support through the funding package. The Victorian Music Industry Recovery program will offer grants between $4,000 and $50,000 to support artists, managers, promoters, bookers, road crew and other industry workers to “keep creating new music, undertake professional and business development activities and develop new COVIDSafe ways of working.”
Applicants for that will open from noon today and close Thursday, 22nd October, with dedicated streams for First Nations, deaf and disabled applicants.
Another $1.2 million will be distributed to ten music organisations and peak bodies for professional and business development programs.
“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,” commented Premier Daniel Andrews.
“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.”
Back in June, Victorian music venues called for urgent assistance with the Save Our Scenes campaign, with a slew of venues singing an open letter to the state government. In July, the Victorian government announced a $15 million support package for venues in the state.