News March 25, 2021

Federal Government commits additional $135m to music biz

Federal Government commits additional $135m to music biz

Following talks between the music industry and government over recent weeks, the arts and entertainment sector will receive a lifeline as the JobKeep cliff approaches.

The latest effort by the PM hopes to boost 230 projects and support 90,000 jobs.

The Federal Government announced $135 million in support today, including $125 million in additional RISE funding and another $10 million to music charity Support Act.

RISE is designed to support festivals, concerts, tours and productions.

Dean Ormston, CEO at APRA AMCOS, has welcomed the funding announcement.

“We are delighted the Australian Government has listened to our plea to help support Australia’s live music entertainment industry through the uncertainty of the next six months,” he said.

“This package recognises the unique place of live music and entertainment industry artists, workers and businesses as the sector struggles to restart under the weight of government restrictions and sudden border closures.

“We urge the Australian Government to expedite the application process so these funds can be distributed to the industry urgently. The livelihoods of thousands will rely on this new package to ensure the sustainability of our sector.”

This additional financial support takes recovery finding to $200 million for the sector.

But with one in five arts workers still on JobKeeper payments, there are still grave fears about what will happen when the wage subsidy scheme ends on Sunday, according to AAP.

Arts Minister Paul Fletcher said the package is designed to get shows back on the road. .

“We want to see our performers and creators on stage, we want to see jobs for the backstage crews, we want to see front of house,” he said on Thursday.

“All of that depends upon, and can be stimulated and supported by, this funding.”

“Theatre is on the road back but the music sector is lagging somewhat behind,” he said.

The fund guidelines will also be changed to allow more support for smaller organisations, venues and artistic groups, including lowering the minimum grant from $75,000 to $25,000.

ARIA CEO, Annabelle Herd, said the new package comes at a time of dire need for the live music sector, which has “suffered unprecedented loss from COVID-19” shutdowns and uncertainty.

“Live was one of the first sectors to be shut down and is still operating at well below capacity.”

Live Performance Australia’s CEO, Evelyn Richardson, said the music and entertainment industry’s recovery remains “uneven”, with parts of the sector still unable to fully reactivate.

“With JobKeeper ending this month, the music and live entertainment industry has a significant gap in Q2 and Q3 as it is unable to fully reactivate due to COVID-19 restrictions, notably venue capacity limits, border uncertainties and barriers to international acts entering Australia.

“A boost to the existing RISE program to get more shows and acts on stages nationally will provide considerable community stimulus to both upstream and downstream businesses which are driven off the back of Australia’s $15 billion live performance industry.

She also said LPA looks forward to working with the government “to get this money out the door as quickly as possible” to keep companies alive, projects moving and people in jobs.

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