City of Port Phillip launches lockdown assistance scheme for local venues and promoters
Melbourne’s Port Phillip City Council has introduced a financial support scheme to bolster local live music venues and promoters who have been forced to cancel shows due to lockdowns.
Launched as part of the council’s Live Music Action Plan (LMAP) and funded by savings from the cancellation of this year’s St Kilda Festival, the Please Don’t Stop The Music program will allow eligible parties to apply for up to $5,000 a week until the end of 2021 to pay affected artists and crew or cover show rescheduling costs.
The program is the first council support scheme of its kind in Australia.
The council will also introduce a Locals Playing Locals database to connect musicians with eligible venues in the Port Phillip region for council-paid gigging opportunities, with applications for the initiative opening on Thursday, September 2.
Port Phillip City Council mayor Louise Crawford said that the Please Don’t Stop The Music financial relief program would run concurrently with state support schemes to help the region’s musical community survive during lockdown.
“Lockdowns have taken a huge toll on the live music industry – as well as the sectors it benefits such as hospitality,” Crawford said.
“We’re doing what we can through our LMAP to make a real difference at this incredibly challenging time. We’re also continuing our efforts to become the first Victorian council to develop live music precincts to encourage live music while protecting amenity.”
Simon Myers, a musician and co-owner of St Kilda’s MEMO Music Hall, highlighted the long-term impacts of lockdowns on the area’s venues and welcomed the additional relief.
“[The] Council’s financial support sends a clear message to artists that they are valued and will definitely assist in maintaining confidence in booking music in venues,” Myers said.
“Consistently rescheduling shows, without knowing whether they will actually go ahead, has a financial cost – and also can cost the audience’s confidence. If live performances are canceled, a contribution to the artists, crew and venue will also alleviate some financial hardship.”
Further details about the Port Phillip Council’s Please Don’t Stop the Music scheme can be found here.