News August 24, 2020

Qld state govt announces funding as live music reignites

Qld state govt announces funding as live music reignites

As Queensland’s live music sector reignites, the state government has come through with a number of funding initiatives.

Play Local will provide 52 live music and performance arts venues with $812,635 to provide gigs for Queensland talent.

Funding varies from supporting shows over a number of weeks or months until December 31, or a single performance, up to $20,000.

Play Local is part of the Queensland government’s Arts and Cultural Recovery Package of $22.5 million over two years.

Minister for the arts Leeanne Enoch emphasised how the latest funding had a trickle-down effect.

“Importantly, the Play Local investment will directly support jobs for almost 1,500 artists and arts workers and support the employment of hundreds of venue staff including venue management, technicians and bar staff,” she said.

According to a survey by I Lost My Gig in May, Queensland creatives lost an initial $44.4 million in income immediately after the pandemic.

Several major music venues will receive around $20,000 each for primarily new acts. These include The Zoo, Woolly Mammoth, The Tivoli, The Met, The Old Museum, Night Quarter (to pay for 40 acts), TANKS, Jumping Goats Bar (to also book conservatorium graduates) and HOTA (Home of the Arts) for 14 acts to make their debuts.

Fortitude Music Hall will use its funding to program 44 comedians over a month while Mos Desert Clubhouse will provide free live streaming.

Numerous regional councils and arts centres will also incorporate exposure for circus, queer cabaret, drive-in concerts and talent quests.

Another initiative, Creative To Go, received $153,344 to support 10 projects and 100 artists from regional areas in its second round.

The Queensland government also announced Open Air, pledging up to $80,000 (co-funding) to support programming and performances by artists and arts workers, in outdoor and non-traditional external spaces. 

These initiatives will also develop future partnerships and collaborations, and the use of Queensland based companies, suppliers and services firms.

A report on the return of live music to the Gold Coast in local street paper Blank showed that most gigs were sold out, and venues have booked gigs to at least October.

Even metal and punk fans were happy to have their numbers capped to 50 and sit throughout.

Emma Milikins, coordinator of Miami Marketta said the club booked major names who’d been gigging for 30 years.

“When they were sound checking they were like little kids, they were so excited to be gigging again.

“I could hear them say that they didn’t know when they would get to gig again, it might be another six months.”

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