The Brag Media
News May 25, 2020

NSW unveils $50 million arts and culture bailout, national music sector still in the dark

Senior Journalist, B2B
NSW unveils $50 million arts and culture bailout, national music sector still in the dark

The arts and culture community in New South Wales has scored a $50 million cash injection to help get through the coronavirus pandemic.

While the rest of the country was enjoying another sleepy weekend, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced its Rescue and Restart package, which will be delivered in two phases.

In the first instance, the state’s not-for-profit arts and cultural organisations will have funding available now to “hibernate temporarily.”

And separately, funding will be available in the coming months to not-for-profits to restart operations after the COVID-19 pandemic and when health and safety restrictions are relaxed.

At present, there’s no timeline on phase two. Though there are signs of a return to normal service.

On Sunday, health officials announced pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to serve up to 50 customers from June 1, and travel to regional NSW for a holiday be will allowed.

In announcing the cash splash, the state government says it “recognises the important contribution the arts and cultural sector makes to the NSW economy, as well as to the community’s wellbeing, particularly during challenging times.”

Funding will be open to organisations across the state that meet the criteria on a case-by-case basis.

The likes of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, Australian Chamber Orchestra, and the Sydney Theatre Company are expected to be among the beneficiaries of the bailout.

The money came too late to save Sydney’s Carriageworks, which entered administration earlier in the month citing the citing “irreparable loss of income” due to the health crisis.

Regardless, the NSW funding boost will be widely welcomed, though creatives across the nation are still in the dark on the music industry’s proposed $650 million bailout package.

According to I Lost My Gig, the devastating pandemic and bushfires have cost artists across the country about $340 million in lost income. NSW accounts for more that $133 million of that sum.

Live Performance Australia, which has lobbied government for a substantial financial package, last week shared a map which breaks down the financial impact.

“This chart paints an absolutely devastating picture of the real impact of COVID-19 on live performance,” reads a statement from the trade body. “And why it is still essential for the Federal Government to step up with a real plan to support our performers.”

For more on the NSW Government’s rescue and restart package, email

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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