QMusic pleads for financial support package from Queensland Government
In a recently published newsletter, QMusic said a financial support package to assist the live sector for the next four to six months would “even the score”, citing the NSW Government’s own recently announced $24 million live music package.
QMusic’s outgoing CEO Angela Samut, who has been conducting weekly meetings and working with Arts Queensland and the Government for the past 12 months, said that many of the state’s music venues are at “breaking point”.
“A thriving live music economy is critical to the livelihoods and sustainability of contemporary musicians and the Queensland music industry as a whole,” Samut said.
“We appreciate Minister Enoch and the Queensland Government’s support to date including the stART quick response grants and two rounds of live music venue grants, however as most live music venues are still operating at just 30 percent, we urgently need significantly more funding to help them get across the 2021 finish line.
“Through our close work with venues across the state since the initial lockdown, we know all of these small business owners are at an absolute breaking point. They need a lifeline and they need it now.”
Samut, QMusic president Natalie Strijland and committee member John Collins met with Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young this week to discuss capacity restrictions for live music venues, warning that the state is at risk of losing the industry without a major financial commitment from the Government.
Collins, who also co-owns Brisbane venues The Triffid and The Fortitude Music Hall, highlighted the dire nature of the situation facing the state’s live music sector.
“We simply cannot sustain business and jobs,” Collins said.
“Promoter and public confidence are volatile regarding purchasing tickets due to snap lockdowns and cancellations, and dependent on what is being portrayed in the media. If we don’t get support, there won’t be any live music venues left.”
Last year, the Queensland Government committed $22.5 million to the state as part of the Arts and Cultural Recovery Package, which followed the state’s stART music grants delivered on behalf of Arts Queensland and the local government.
In April, the Palaszczuk Government announced that venues would be able to apply for grants of up to $80,000 after the state was impacted by a COVID-19 outbreak, which spread down to Northern NSW and resulted in Bluesfest Byron Bay being cancelled just one day out from kick-off.
Today marks Samut’s last day as the CEO of QMusic, with incoming CEO Kris Stewart officially assuming the top role on Tuesday June 14.