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News August 26, 2020

Thinking outside the box when helping the live sector in crisis

Senior Journalist, B2B
Thinking outside the box when helping the live sector in crisis

Podcasts, and revenue from parking meters and pokies – these are just three ways that governments and councils have thought outside the box to help their local live scenes in addition to their direct grant schemes.

The ACT government has expanded its community contributions scheme – where gaming clubs pay 8.8% of net gaming machine revenue to needy community sectors – to include music venues.

Minister for the arts, creative industries and cultural events, Gordon Ramsay, has OK’d it so venues can claim part of the money for what they pay musicians and comedians, and for production costs.

Canberra-based peak music association Music ACT responded, “Musos can now be paid through clubs’ community contributions from gambling revenue. 

“We’re not stoked about where the money comes from, but any assistance to musicians is appreciated right now.”

But venues welcomed the move, as now they can book bands with certainty even with a reduced crowd capacity, and watch that filter through to cash-strapped light and sound firms.

Recently 13 venue owners held a forum to discuss asking the government for financial incentives to stage shows, address liability issues and set up an entertainment precinct.

In Sydney, City of Ryde confirmed to TMN that it plans to return its successful podcast with Lane Cove Council, Get Gig Ready.

It had support from Live Music Office, MusicNSW and Macquarie University.

The idea was for local musicians to sharpen their life skills and come up with strategies for their careers during the downtime to use when the sector returns to a semblance of normality.

The first season ended this week (August 24) after airing for seven weeks on Monday evenings on 2SER, its website and podcast streaming platforms.

“The response to Get Gig Ready has been overwhelmingly positive, with 21,000 people tuning in to listen to the podcast since it was launched,” said a City of Ryde spokesperson.

Episodes covered marketing, getting radio airplay and putting on a gig, with artists and biz pros as Vichara Edirisinghe, Jaimee Taylor-Nielsen, PRINCI and Dobby.

Each included a track by an act from the Ryde and Lane Cove areas.

Aside from bringing back Get Gig Ready, the two councils “are experimenting with delivery formats to best connect with and support our local arts community.”

City of Ryde also has a monthly Professional Skills for Creatives workshop, the Ryde-In: The Lounge Sessions with housebound acts streamed on its Facebook page, a battle of the bands, the West Ryde Summer Series showcases and an artist register.

City of Wollongong will use the $2.3 million revenue it makes from parking meters to help musicians and venues.

A council spokesperson told the Illawarra Mercury the money would go to an upcoming weekly livestreaming series showcasing venues and musicians, a concert series matching bands and businesses, and a live music program in the Crown Street Mall Creative Container.

“This funding will support events, marketing and business initiatives to facilitate regional and local recovery, stimulate the night-time economy and enhance CBD activation,” she said.


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