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News June 19, 2024

NSW Government Pledges $18.5 Million For Sound NSW: Budget

NSW Government Pledges $18.5 Million For Sound NSW: Budget

The Minns government is backing-up talk with money.

Announced late Tuesday, June 18, the state will pump $18.5 million into Sound NSW, and has allocated $26.9 million for the Office of the 24 Hour Economy Commissioner and almost one-third-of-a billion for Destination NSW.

Those are some of the music industry’s main takeaways from the NSW Government’s 2024-25 Budget, one that should help restore a live entertainment and late-night scene that suffered badly under previous administrations.

Budget highlights include:

  • Destination NSW: $324.5 million to deliver the events calendar across metro and regional NSW, including Vivid Sydney, SXSW Sydney, Mundi Mundi Bash, Parkes Elvis Festival, and a range of sporting events, and drive the refreshed Visitor Economy Strategy 2030.
  • Arts and Cultural Funding Program: $73 million to support grassroots and community arts organisations.
  • Screen and Digital Games: $35 million for the Made in NSW Fund, as well as ongoing investment to provide certainty for the Post-Production and Visual Effects rebate scheme.
  • Night-Time Economy: $26.9 million to support the development of vibrant, safe, and diverse night-time precincts across the State and the delivery of the refreshed NSW 24-Hour Economy Strategy.
  • Music: $18.5 million for Sound NSW to deliver programs that drive audience and international market development, strengthen the live music industry, and champion NSW artists.

Formed in 2023, Sound NSW’s role is to promote contemporary music in NSW, and is led by Emily Collins, working alongside an advisory board comprised of artists and industry figures including chair Jessica Ducrou and deputy chair John Watson.

Emily Collins

Emily Collins

All told, $1.66 billion is set aside for the arts, night-time economy and tourism.

MusicNSW has warmly welcomed the support.

“This budget reflects the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to contemporary music and support for Sound NSW as its dedicated contemporary music office,” comments Joe Muller, managing director of MusicNSW.

“We eagerly anticipate the government’s 10-year contemporary music strategy and look forward to supporting Sound NSW to see a thriving contemporary music sector in the state.”

The NSW Labor Party swept into power last year with a $103 million pledge, including a commitment to establish Sound New South Wales and that 10-year strategy for contemporary music.

Later, in a sign that Minns; minister for the arts, music and the night-time economy John Graham; and their team meant business, the so-called Vibrancy Bills were tabled in Parliament, reforms that would unwind the inherited bureaucratic mess, and create a streamline system which should put the era of lockouts and over-regulation in the past.

The Budget delves into its “Vibrancy agenda,” for which government will “deliver further reforms to support venues, event organisers, and councils,” including legislating to make it easier to host events and festivals, and streamlining planning processes that are restricting cultural activity.

Also, the state will reform the Arts and Cultural Funding Program to “deliver a simpler, fairer, and faster model for arts funding that will drive long-term growth and sustainability” for the sector.

Muller and MusicNSW commends the continued support for the Office of the 24 Hour Economy Commissioner, “whose regulatory reforms and programs supporting venues underscore the integral role of music in vibrant night-time economies.”

Earlier in the year, Labor claimed a fresh win for live music, with the publication of data pointing to the number of venues hosting live performances lifting by 84%. That followed the worrying report last year from APRA AMCOS (via OneMusic) which found 1,300 music venues nationwide had been lost since the pandemic. 

“Finally, we welcome the refresh of the Destination NSW Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 which we expect will expand on investments in SXSW Sydney, Vivid Sydney and Great Southern Nights to see continued government support for local cultural events,” adds Muller, “and unlock further opportunities for NSW based artists and music industry as a key driver of the visitor economy.”

“MusicNSW looks forward to continuing to collaborate with these agencies and the industry to maximise the impact of this funding in the coming year.”

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