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News May 15, 2024

Music Biz Welcomes Live Music Relief In Federal Budget

Senior Journalist, B2B
Music Biz Welcomes Live Music Relief In Federal Budget

As taxpayers around the country digest the 2024-25 federal budget, Australia’s music industry applauds a much-needed cash injection for the live space.

The Albanese government unlocks $8.6 million in funding to support live music venues and festivals showcasing Australian performers, through Revive Live.

That cash comes at a particularly challenging time for artists and professionals up and down the food chain, punctuated by the cancelation of several much-loved festivals, including Splendour in the Grass, the closure of important venues (The Zoo), and the ongoing shutout of homegrown talent on the national ARIA charts.

Canberra’s pledge is a “timely and important step toward establishing sustainable careers for local artist on our shores,” comments ARIA and PPCA CEO Annabelle Herd.

The commitment “will support a vital channel for discovery, ensuring our talented up and coming artists – as well as our established artists – get in front of new and larger audiences faster.”

Untitled Group, the independent Melbourne-based concert and events specialist welcomes the Revive Live backing and the $7.9 million committed over four years to support people with disability to access and participate in the creative arts.

“This investment will ensure our festivals such as Pitch Music & Arts, Beyond the Valley, Wildlands and Ability Fest can continue to employ thousands of creative workers and showcase Australian artists on our festival stages,” reads a statement from the company.

Meredith Fannin, founder and director at Darkwave, the boutique chartered accounting and business management firm in the creative industries, is confident the funding injection will “significantly impact” the bottom lines of festivals and live music venues.

“The ripple effects of the Budget commitment will extend beyond performers,” she remarks.

“Production crews, publicists, booking agents, and managers will all see increased opportunities. This holistic support underscores the government’s recognition of the entire ecosystem that supports live music.”

In the festivals space, which has seen Splendour and several others fall over in quick succession, the funding is “a game-changer,” promising “immediate benefits and long-term growth for artists and music industry professionals.”

APRA AMCOS and Live Performance Australia both welcomed the funding for live music, and called for long-term tax offsets. 

“This urgent funding comes at a crucial time,” comments APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston. “Australia has lost more than a quarter of its live music venues and stages across the nation since the pandemic.”

More needs to be done. “APRA AMCOS once again calls for a sustainable long-term measure to ensure the viability of the live music venues and festivals,” adds Ormston. “Australia urgently requires a national catalyst in the form of a tax offset to revive Australian live music.”

As one solution to Australian artists’ “discoverability” problem, the AAM recently pitched Michael’s Rule, a code that would ensure an Australian artist opens on every major tour of these parts. The response from the music community has been largely positive.

The latest Budget has its share of surprises. None are greater than the headline figure — a $9.3b surplus — while a string of measures are intended to take the bite out of the cost of living crisis, including $300 per household handouts in energy bill relief, rent assistance, and transport networks and renewable energy boosts.

Revive was presented Jan. 30, 2023 with the publication of the government’s National Cultural Policy, which details a 5-year plan to renew and revive Australia’s arts, entertainment and cultural sector.

“We look forward to seeing the findings of the report from the House of Representatives Standing Committee inquiry into the challenges and opportunities within the Australian live music industry,” adds Herd, “particularly to see how additional policy measures can complement initiatives like Revive Live.”

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