News August 10, 2020

Live sector applauds WA’s $76m music & arts recovery package

Live sector applauds WA’s $76m music & arts recovery package
Mike Harris WAM

Western Australia’s peak music association and the national are among those applauding the WA government’s new $76 million music & arts recovery package.

WAM’s chief executive Mike Harris told TMN, “We certainly see this as a good first up initiative and look forward to additional and more specific support measures for music in the future. 

“Most critical right now is any measure that allows music to move back to business as usual such as allowing smaller venues to move more speedily into operating at full capacity.”

The recovery package was created in consultation with the music and arts sector.

It includes $15 million allocated to the ‘Getting The Show Back On The Road’ shared risk package to reactivate live performances and touring activities, creating increased opportunities for employment and venue activation. 

This includes:

  • Up to $9 million available to underwrite COVID-19 related financial risks for live music and performance;
  • A $5.65 million venue hire waiver for local performing arts companies for free access to state government venues including those managed by the Perth Theatre Trust, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority and VenuesWest;
  • A  $350,000 contribution to events delivered by WAM.

The recovery plan also set aside $30 million to redevelop the Perth Concert Hall, $15 million to upgrade His Majesty’s Theatre and $6 million towards a Jewish Community Centre in Yokine.

These works are set to create 230 jobs.

A substantial money is also for First Australian visual exhibitions and performance activity, and towards arts and cultural events in regional areas to help these recover from the CVOD-19 affected downturn.

Culture and the arts minister David Templeman said,  “Now, more than ever, Australians recognise the role and immense value of culture and the arts in our communities, to bring joy, unify and build bridges between people.

“Unfortunately, the sector has been hit hard by COVID-19, with restrictions to social gatherings and border closures.”

Live Performance Australia applauded the government’s shared risk approach to ‘Getting The Show Back On The Road’.

“There is significant commercial risk involved with restarting or scheduling new productions or festivals as long as there is potential for venue and event closures or other restrictions which are imposed to deal with further outbreaks of COVID-19,” said its chief executive Evelyn Richardson.

 “The Commonwealth government and other states and territories should follow WA’s lead in designing similar shared risk support measures to give the live performance industry greater confidence to plan and prepare for reopening in their jurisdictions.”

LPA has asked the Federal government to consider extending the Temporary Interruption Fund for the screen industry, or a similar model, to the live performance sector, “given we face very similar challenges in securing insurance against COVID-19 related disruptions.”

WAM’s Mike Harris emphasised to TMN the importance of an initiative like Getting The Show Back On The Road’.

“Touring is critical whilst our borders are closed – and at any other time. Again, we support any program that will encourage regional touring of music.

 “We do ask that any tour is sympathetic to local regional promoters and businesses, and where possible engages local support acts.”

Asked if could see the WA live sector returning in strength and  with support from local audiences, Harris had no doubts.

“Abso-fucking-lutley – but it isn’t a simple thing of re-opening and all will be well. 

“Music venues and businesses have been devastated by the lockdowns and need all the help they can get to get back on their feet. 

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