Musicians, DJs and Crews Benefit From Council Initiatives
The City of Melbourne is offering up to $50,000 for creatives to develop ideas for a new as-yet-unnamed music, arts, future technologies and innovation festival to take place in August 2023.
It combines the 12-year-old Melbourne Music Week which was scrapped this year (it attracted 72,000 and gave the economy a near $6 million boost) and Melbourne Knowledge Week.
Events will take place both before and after dark, drawing on Melbourne’s late- night culture.
“No one puts on a show like we do,” said lord mayor Sally Capp.
“[These events] drive visitation and boost spending at local businesses.”
Pre-COVID, events attracted 4 million to the CBD, with an economic benefit of $96 million.
The Melbourne news follows the move to turn Sydney’s Inner West town halls into part-time music venues.
In addition, the NSW Government gave funding of up to $500,000 a year for two years to 15 councils across Sydney, the Hunter Valley and Newcastle, and the Illawarra.
Altogether $8 million has been invested for them to run 21 festivals and events.
Most are multicultural offerings, and many incorporate contemporary live music.
These include City of Newcastle’s New Annual ($400,000) which brought 30,000 into the CBD in its first year, Wollongong City Council’s DancePlant ($625,000), Inner West Council’s Culture X Ashfield ($137,454) and Liverpool City Council’s
Pacific Summer, Motherland African and Primavera Latin American ($800,000).
A $500,000 grant over two years from Moreton Bay Regional Council also sees Woodford Folk return to Queensland with a program for next month after two years of COVID cancellations.
The two-year cancellation is estimated to have cost the promoter $30 million.
It also meant the loss of jobs: in 2019, there were 2,500 for artists and arts workers, 158 full-time local jobs and 89 through the state.
“We have all been hurt by the deafening silence at the Woodfordia precinct over the past two years,” mayor Peter Flannery said.
“This six-day event attracts 124,000 people each year and 40% of those attendees come from interstate and overseas.”
Woodford puts $17.1 million into the Moreton Bay region, and another $12.3 million to Queensland.
Back in Sydney, the City of Sydney and the Surry Hills Business Partnership were behind the free DJ and live music Heart of Surry Hill party on the weekend at Shannon Park.
It spotlighted local music venues, food and bar places and brewers.
With the changing demographic and buoyancy of the NSW town of Goulburn, the Goulburn Mulwaree Council last year mooted an entertainment and night-time working party.
This year it provided funds, as did the Federal Government, and engaged Australian National Events to stage the 25th Australian Blues Music Festival from Nov. 18—20 after a two-year absence due to bushfires and the pandemic.
The free event provides work for 30 acts, their crews and staff in five venues.
After the 2022 instalment of Horizon Festival drew 20,000, Sunshine Coast Council continues its support of the event.
For 2023, as part of the festival’s Homegrown program, Council wants musicians – and dancers, actors and visual artists – to come up with a work for The Forgotten Coast theme, to showcase in a forgotten or hidden space.
“We want artists to abandon their current perceptions of a space and get lost in their creative practice, experimenting and pushing the boundaries in response to the space they’ve selected,” Council’s Horizon director Hannah Clissold said.
Sunshine Coast Council also funds the Caloundra Music Festival to the tune of $250,000 for an economy impact of $3 million.
Townsville City Council’s North Australian Festival of Arts (NAFA), to draw 100,000 from June 16 to July 9, will in 2023 kick off with the Tropic Sounds festival with Tones and I, ILLY, Pierce Brothers, Clews and DJ Dolly Llama.