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News June 11, 2024

Queensland Gov’t Pledges $1.6m ‘Lifeline’ For Music Businesses

Queensland Gov’t Pledges $1.6m ‘Lifeline’ For Music Businesses

Queensland’s music industry, still reeling from the imminent closure of The Zoo, the cancellation this year of Caloundra Music Festival, and other downward pressures, is in line for a $1.6 million “lifeline”.

The cash boost is detailed in the state Budget, presented Tuesday (June 11), just hours after premier Steven Miles announced the creation of a new state-wide role for a Nighttime Economy Commissioner.

QMusic, producers of the annual Bigsound showcase event and conference and the Queensland Music Awards, welcomed the funding package, which is announced following discussions between the peak body’s president Natalie Strijland and CEO Kris Stewart with the premier, arts minister Leanne Enoch and other members of parliament.

The funds will “support Queensland live music venues and our local musicians, alongside the establishment of a Nighttime Economy Commissioner,” comments Stewart in a statement.

Over the last three years, he continues, “we’ve often had the opportunity to speak to both sides of the aisle through events like the Parliamentary Friends of the Music Industry. We’ve always felt there is a genuineness in their passion for the industry and commitment to seeing it succeed.”

While the money is “not a magic bullet fix,” Stewart explains, “the ability to directly target this $1.6 million to where it can make a real impact means it’s a great lifeline for our artists and venues that need it most.”

Earlier, the Miles government announced a commitment for a Nighttime Economy Commissioner, a new role that would help to support venues and festivals that have been navigating tough times.

Among them, The Zoo, a beloved venue in the heart of Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley that will cease trading on July 8. The “financial reality of keeping music venues afloat in 2024 is all too stark,” reads a statement from The Zoo’s team issued earlier this year, despite the venue posting its highest ticket sales in its 32-year history last year.

That success on the door “was still not enough to combat rising operational costs, and decreasing returns.”

Separately, the Caloundra Music Festival, originally penciled in for this October, was scrapped with organisers citing punishing operating costs and cost-of-living pressures.

Read the Budget here. 

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