Lifelines for music venues in four states & territories
Music venues in Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory have been given lifelines – whether financial, easing of crowd capacity, or a new campaign around patron safety that could increase attendance.
Small to medium-sized venues in Victoria can breathe a collective sigh of relief from May 28.
The one person per two square metres rule will be scrapped and they can have up to 200 people per space.
The trade-off is that patrons must check in using the Victorian government QR Code Service through the Service Victoria app, and the venues must have COVID marshals to ensure this.
A government survey showed only 41% of hospitality venue customers checked in, and 24% visited by officers between April 30 and May 2 were warned or received notices for lack of compliance in electronic data collecting.
Spaces over 400 square metres still need to observe density limits.
In WA, where some restrictions remained after a brief lockdown in the Perth and Peel regions, the weekend saw the state government allow nightclubs to reopen, subject to the two square metre rule.
Major stadium capacity has also returned to 75%, but masks remain mandatory.
21 venues in Queensland are sharing in an extra $1.3 million in funding as part of the state government’s Live Music Support Program.
“We recognise the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the arts and culture sector, and on indoor live music venues,” minister for the arts Leeanne Enoch said.
The funding is to help offset revenue loss and stabilise operations.
Getting the high-end $80,000 each, based on their size, were The Tivoli Theatre, Fortitude Valley; Fortitude Music Hall, Fortitude Valley; The Triffid, Newstead; Solbar, Maroochydore; Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns; Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley; and NightQuarter, Birtinya.
Among others getting a lower boost were The Zoo, Black Bear Lodge, Tomcat Bar, Vinnies Dive, Can You Keep A Secret, EC, Miami Marketta and The Beaded Lady.
In the Northern Territory, peak music association Music NT launched the All Good Project on the weekend.
Live music venues in Alice Springs, Darwin, Katherine, Palmerston and Tennant Creek will receive training to educate and empower staff to better understand and respond to harassment, discrimination, accessibility issues and violence in their spaces.
A public campaign to encourage active by-standing and increase awareness of acceptable behaviour standards is in development.
Music NT’s executive director Mark Smith believes the project’s multi-faceted approach will work to change the culture of going to see live music.
“The NT has one of the most unique live music scenes I’ve experienced, and we want it to be accessible and open for anyone to enjoy,” he said.