Federal government announces $30.9m for contemporary music: “a diverse and multi-layered approach”
The Australian government has announced an investment of $30.9 million in the contemporary music sector, which the music industry has described as a “diverse and multi-layered approach”.
The fresh funding covers support of live music venues and critical investment for indigenous music, mentorship programs and exports.
$22.5 million in live music grants for small businesses
$2.1 million for a Women in Music Mentor program
$2.7 million for Indigenous Contemporary Music
$2 million to the Australia Council to increase performance opportunities
$1.6 million to expand SOUNDS AUSTRALIA to capitalise on emerging markets in Asia
Minister for the arts Mitch Fifield said the Budget measures were designed to bring more Australian live music to local communities and try to break the global market.
It was important, he said, small venues be able to increase their support of gigs, especially for emerging acts to build followings and hone their skills.
“Australia’s local music industry is one of our most important cultural exports, contributing up to $6 billion to our economy each year,” minister Fifield said.
“This investment is about removing roadblocks for Australian musicians and boosting their profile in a competitive global market.
“The Morrison Government understands the enormous potential for growth in this dynamic sector and is delivering real-world measures to strengthen the diversity and reach of our music industry.”
The minister added: “I would like to acknowledge the tireless work of Australia’s peak music bodies in advocating for their industry. They have been instrumental in highlighting the key areas requiring assistance in their sector.”
APRA AMCOS chief executive Dean Ormston was the first music executive to respond to the announcement, with others to be reached early in the week for their comments.
Ormston applauded the announcement.
“The Morrison Government has recognised that Australia is a music nation,” he said.
“Of all the art forms Australians engage with, music is by far the most popular.”
Ormston also noted that the package tackled the key issues faced by the Australian music industry, which were highlighted in the House Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts’ inquiry into factors contributing to the growth and sustainability of the Australian music industry.
“Importantly, this announcement recognises the importance of live music to the development and presentation of musical talent,” Ormston said.
“Live music in our cities, regional centres and towns provides them with a competitive advantage, driving jobs, tourism and supporting the night-time economy.”
The investment comes at a time when the music sector is targeting to reach 5% of the global music market – estimated by a 2017 Goldman Sachs report to be worth US$41billion by 2030 and $100 billion within a decade.
“APRA AMCOS has long argued that with the depth of talent across the country, and the increasing international appetite for Australian music, Australia has the potential to go from a music nation to a music powerhouse.
“The funding for SOUNDS AUSTRALIA recognises the enormous potential of Australian music exports and music is used by leading nations to project their image to the world.
“Whether it’s Nashville, London, Tokyo or São Paulo, there are now more Australian musicians and songwriters than home-grown sport stars who are globally recognised household names – Sia, Courtney Barnett, Vance Joy, Flume, 5SOS, Ruel, Amy Shark to name just a few.”
Ormston was particularly pleased that the government package also ticked the growth of indigenous and female presence in the industry.
He said: “We also applaud the important investment in a national development program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians and bands for touring, recording and planning effective touring circuits.
“This will go a long way to improve pathways to the professional development for these music practitioners.
“The support for women in music is also a critical funding initiative.
“While the music industry in Australia is healthy and vibrant, women continue to be underrepresented in key roles in this sector and make up only a small proportion of those making money from their musical endeavours.”