News May 7, 2021

Eddie McGuire among Melbourne millionaires backing music fund

Eddie McGuire among Melbourne millionaires backing music fund
Eddie McGuire

A group of Victoria’s best known blue-chip business identities and philanthropists have been recruited to donate to a fund to help the state’s 700 live music and musicians.

The Music for Victoria Fund launches with $500,000 to subsidise artist fees for live performances in a bid to speed up the sector’s recovery.

It will be administered by Arts Centre Melbourne’s philanthropic program, and is a collaboration between the Centre, the Aussie Pops Orchestra and James Morrison AM.

Among the donors are sports powerbroker and broadcaster Eddie McGuire AM, Just Jeans founder Craig Kimberley OAM, the Pratt Family Foundation, Show Travel, $3 billion retail head Solomon Lew, the property investing Deague Family, the Beck Family Foundation which has sunk millions into hospitals, and engineering entrepreneurs Denis Roche and Ken Roche AO.

Also on the list are designer Creina Cadden, stockbroker David Evans known for championing charities for young homeless and stroke victims, Athletics Australia president Rob Fildes, Melbourne Football Club president Geoff Freeman, Michael and Helen Gannon, John Higgins AO and Jodie Maunder, Jayco Caravans founders Gerry Ryan OAM and Val Ryan, the Swann Family Foundation and Rick Smith AM who made his fortune from a food distribution empire.

Pictured: Corner Hotel, Melbourne

“The objective of the fund is to provide recovery support for the live music sector in Victoria following the significant disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic to the operation of live music venues,” Arts Centre Melbourne said in a statement.

“The fund aims to support venues to book a live performance by providing a grant to cover the costs of booking an artist or band.

“The venue will pay the artist directly and be reimbursed by the fund.”

A venue will get grants of $2,000 to cover artist fees, and The Music for Victoria Fund will accept applications on a rolling basis to June 30, or until all funds are exhausted.

Applicants will be advised within two weeks if they have been successful.

Venues can apply to the fund to support up to three different performances on different dates. The maximum total amount that the fund will distribute to one venue is $6,000.

According to APRA AMCOS, Victoria has lost $1.42 billion of economic activity with 100,000 shows cancelled in 2020, and the sector operating at 4% of pre-COVID levels.

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