News April 1, 2021

Queensland Government announces grants for live music venues

Queensland Government announces grants for live music venues

Photo: Jasper Bennett on Unsplash

Live venues in Queensland will be able to apply for grants of up to $80,000 in a bid to offset the catastrophic impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns.

The Palaszczuk Government said its amped up support of the live industry aimed to ensure the sustainability of the sector, help offset revenue loss and stabilise businesses’ operations.

‘Large’ venues can nab up to $80,000, while smaller venues can net $60,000. A large venue is defined as having capacity of over 500 people, while smaller venues are capped at 499. The venues must be in Queensland and have been in operation for at least 12 months prior to the lodgement of the application. In addition, venues must be a “business whose primary function is to program or host original live music” and have been highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online applications are open now and close at 4pm on April 19. Additional guidelines and FAQs are also available.

Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch, said the new Live Support program acknowledges the ongoing impact of COVID restrictions on indoor live music venues and touring.

“Live venues are an important part of Queensland’s vibrant music industry as an incubator for new talent and the development of artists,” Enoch said.

“Venues are also a creator of employment opportunities for musicians, technicians and other creatives within the broader industry.

“Our Government recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our arts and cultural sector. This package of operational venue support, in addition to funding for touring, is specifically targeted to boost the sustainability of the live music sector in Queensland.”

Enoch said the funding would help relieve cost pressures for indoor live venues and could be used to cover any business costs necessary to operate while the current COVID-Safe restrictions are in place.

The live industry can also access the new Touring Queensland Quick Response Fund, a rolling funding program that opened in 2021 offering support towards expenses related to touring.

Enoch said ongoing restrictions on mass gatherings had particularly affected the viability of venues and the delivery of live music, and this new program will help to mitigate the impact going forward.

“The Government has worked closely with the live sector directly and through QMusic, as Queensland’s peak body for the sector, to best support the sector to emerge from COVID-19 with strength,” she said.

QMusic CEO, Angela Samut, thanked Enoch and the Queensland Government for its support.

“This funding package will offer venues a lifeline following the recent lockdown and ensuing cancelled shows.

“It gives a nod to the intrinsic value of experiencing live which can enhance mental health and overall wellbeing for local communities across our state,” she said.

She also encouraged people to go and see live music in the state when they can.

“Live music provides essential social and community benefits as well as economic impacts that flow on to other industries including tourism and hospitality.

“Venues are critical to the survival and sustainability of our industry and providing employment opportunities for Queensland artists, technicians, crew and other music industry workers who rely on live performance and ensure a pipeline of emerging talent.”

The Live Music Support program is an evolution of the Live Music Venue Support program, which has provided funding to 26 live music venues in Queensland since opening in July last year as part of the Queensland Government’s $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package.

At 12pm today, Brisbane emerged early from a snap three-day lockdown after a highly infectious strain of COVID-19 started spreading throughout the community.

The Queensland infections reached New South Wales’ Byron Bay region, forcing the last-minute cancellation of Bluesfest, which was meant to kick off today. Bluesfest responded to the news, noting it was heartbroken by the community transmission and the event’s cancellation.

More information on the Live Music Support program is available here.

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