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News August 3, 2021

Bluesfest, Falls, WOMADelaide, among 30 festivals sharing in RISE’s $40m pool

Bluesfest, Falls, WOMADelaide, among 30 festivals sharing in RISE’s $40m pool
WOMADelaide/ supplied

Music festivals were the main beneficiaries of Round 4 of the Federal Government’s Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) fund.

Of the total 82 organisations from diverse artforms sharing in $40 million, 30 were festivals, representing $21.3 million of the pool.

NSW lead with 11, and Bluesfest Byron Bay the biggest winner with a $2.4 million injection.

Funding also ensured national concert tours went ahead, and introduced new live initiatives.

Paul Fletcher, minister for communications, urban infrastructure, cities and the arts, said  demand for RISE funding has been significant since it opened last year.

“The latest funding will be allocated immediately to create more than 56,000 employment opportunities across the country,” he said.

“RISE has been critical in supporting Australia’s live performance venues and events during an unprecedented time of widespread disruption from the pandemic.”

Through July alone, festivals that cancelled or rescheduled included Gympie Muster (although a mini version for August will be announced this week), For The Love and Tropic Sounds in Queensland, Victoria’s Paradigm (just hours before gates opened) and Lost Lands, and South Australia’s Illuminate and Guitar Festival.

Bluesfest warned in a Facebook post last week that given the latest developments in NSW, it could possibly be pushed back from October 2021. A decision will be made “in the coming weeks”. Speculation is it’s looking at April 2022.

This week, Bluesfest released a report detailing the economic devastation it encountered as a result of the festival being cancelled at the last-minute earlier this year.

These are the festival/ touring recipients. providing employment for musicians, venues, hospitality and technical staff.


National Folk Festival: $900,000 for a reimagined version in its 30th year in Canberra.


Bluesfest 2021: $2.4 million for the October 1—4 all-Australian edition.

Chugg Music: $600,000 for a new festival tour Squeeze Music, with a focus on regionals.

Sydney Improvised Music Association: $207,600 to set up the NSW Regional Touring Network for Contemporary Music.

Moshcam: $360,000 to leverage its global video streaming platform, showcasing Australian acts filmed over the last two years to the world.

CiCADA International: $150,000 for an Australian Women in Music concert series.

Handsome Tours: $406,195 for a new A More Perfect Union festival, curated by Gang Of Youths.

Lost Paradise: $496,473 to restart the sell-out event in regional Glenworth Valley.

Bluesfest’s Peter Noble

Sound West: $375,000 for new five-day music and digital/technology fest in Western Sydney.

The Merchants of Bollywood: $497,250 for its concert production of The Celebration Of Swing of US big band swing music of the early 1930s.

Love Police Touring: $90,000, for the Americana themed Out On The Weekend at Seaworks, Williamstown supporting culture, tourism and the local economy.

Empire Touring Festival Series: $1.5 million to stage Wildflower, Spring Loaded and Sunset Sounds in over 20 destinations in Australia.

TEG Live: $900,000, to tour KISS and Keith Urban as part of its Summer Series.

Pride In The Parkland: $397,328, for new national outdoor LGBTQIA+ music & art festival.

Century Venues: $674,800 to stage Sydney Guitar Festival and Metro Weekly music program.


Sound Australia (Qld): $625,350 for Savannah In The Round in Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region and plans to become the country music capital.

Vast Yonder: $150,000 for Yonder, a three-day immersive multi-arts festival experience in Mary Valley in November 2021 and 2022.

Ash Sounds: $1.47 million to stage Falls Music and Arts in three states in 2021/22.

Nine Lives: $74,163 to take place in Meanjin/ Brisbane presented by Jet Black Cat Music.


WOMADelaide: $1.2 million for its 30th anniversary featuring 600 acts.

Adelaide Fringe: $1 million for the 2022 edition.


There Is A Free Lunch: $889,599 for Good Things 2021.

The Archie Roach Foundation: $400,000 for its inaugural stage at Port Fairy Folk 2022, curated by Roach and his local Gunditjmara community.

TEG Dainty: $750,000, for Guns N’ Roses tour.

Roald Dahl and The Imagination Seekers: $178,637 to reactivate their tour.

MMF Pty Ltd: $651,000, to reactivate Meredith and Golden Plains to celebrate the 30th and 15th anniversary milestones.

One World Entertainment: $1 million for the national Under The Southern Stars tour.

Wangaratta Festival of Jazz: $121,421.

Red Hill Entertainment: $557,500 to restart UNIFY Gathering 2022 in Tarwin Lower.

PSV Enterprises (Aus): $500,000 for Ultra Music Week – Australia, workshops and collabs by Australian and Asia/Pacific artists, and the EDM ULTRA Melbourne festival.

Seventh Tipple: $274,576 for Melbourne venue The Tote Rocks 40.

The Hills Are Alive Group: $178,200 to restart NYE On The Hill 2021 in Gippsland.

Australian National Academy Of Music: $73,700 for a weekend concert series.

Live Nation Australasia: $1 million “for a national tour to celebrate the anniversary of an iconic band in 2022”.

Wildlands: $459,160 to expand contemporary Queensland youth festival to a multi-city multi-day event.

Festival X: $1 million tour through Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.


Perth International Jazz Festival: $612,813 for 2021 & 2022 through metro venues and to expand into regional areas.

Wave Rock Weekender: $350,000 for Edition 16 (2021) and 17 (2022) in Hyden.

Origin Fields: $672,556, to present its NYE festival as a three-day event.

Factory Summer Festival: $800,000, for a reimagined run.


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