News October 27, 2021

SA Government offers live music funding, but heartbreak continues for venues

SA Government offers live music funding, but heartbreak continues for venues

Adelaide Entertainment Centre (Photo credit: Danny Howe on Unsplash)

The South Australian Government has announced a $7 million funding boost for live music and the arts.

“[They] have been some of the hardest hit industries by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions that were necessary to ensure South Australians stayed safe,” premier Steve Marshall said.

However music venues were left devastated when the state’s roadmap out of COVID restrictions – also announced yesterday – left them out of immediate plans to reopen because they were still considered “high risk”.

They’ll face density limits, mask use and bans on dancing and standing up while drinking until the state reaches 90% vaccination.

The contemporary live music sector had been lobbying to return to action by summer, their most lucrative trading period.

Australian Hotels Association state executive director Ian Horne expressed frustration with continued trade restrictions for his members.

“It’s a road map, but I’m not sure where it’s taking us,” he said.

Promoter and musician Rob Pippan called for the return of JobKeeper.

“Small state-based grants simply aren’t enough,” he explained. “Our cumulative losses have now placed us all in an untenable position.

“We, in many cases, have little or no fall-back position left and everyone’s resources now pretty much depleted.”

Of the new $7 million package, $3 million goes to the contemporary live sector.

“As we get closer to the re-opening of our borders to interstate and international travellers, it is imperative that our arts and cultural organisations, live music venues, artists and promoters are in a position to resume operating as soon as the restrictions lift,” premier Marshall said.

“The Marshall Government is committed to the arts and music sector and creating and supporting as many jobs in the industry as possible – and this package shows our support.”

The Gov, Adelaide

The Live Music Support Package will provide up to $300,000 for venues and promoters, and up to $50,000 for touring artists and their local crews, if they can demonstrate a decline in income compared to pre-COVID-19.

The wider arts sector gets a $4 million Arts Recovery Fund.

“[It] will be distributed through a series of initiatives prioritising jobs in the sector, resilience and recovery pathways for arts organisations, and risk mitigation for presenters,” Marshall said.

The Adelaide Fringe will receive $1.45 million towards supporting local acts, making its hub COVID-safe, creating jobs and a world-first $350,000 spectacular drone show called Sky Song.

Minister for Innovation and Skills, David Pisoni, said: “South Australian businesses in the music and performing arts sector directly contributed more than $183 million to the local economy in 2018-19 prior to COVID-19 and we are all looking forward to seeing the industry flourish again.”

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