The Brag Media
News March 21, 2022

South Australian election result a ‘significant’ win for the music industry

South Australian election result a ‘significant’ win for the music industry
Tim Minchin at Adelaide Festival / Source: Adelaide Festival
Image: Andrew Beveridge

Labor’s landslide win in the South Australian election on the weekend has been applauded by the state’s music sector, which actively campaigned for a Malinauskas government.

“It’s a significant win for us,” promoter, advocate and musician Rob Pippan told TIO.

“Labor’s arts policy has a lot of components, and they really listened to our concerns, and made us feel they wanted to make a difference.”

Pippin notes how Labor leader Peter Malinauskas attended the March 1 Adelaide Music Summit and listened to 150 executives talk about challenges and solutions to the SA live sector, which employs more than 4,500.

Former premier and arts minister Steve Marshall, who ignored three letters sent to him, pulled out 90 minutes prior.

Labor’s arts strategy includes $3.25 million in See It LIVE grants for promoters, consisting of $5,000 each for 100 club gigs, 25 grants of $500,000 each for theatres and wineries, and five grants of $250,000 each for major events.

A further $250,000 to Support Act provides wellbeing workshops for SA music workers, while Adelaide Fringe gets a $2 million annual boost.

Festivals and events which have to cancel due to a pandemic outbreak or on health ministry orders will get compensation of between $10,000 and $250,000 from a $5 million insurance fund.

$1 million is put aside for upgrades to music venues, while $500,000 is allocated for concerts at the Royal Adelaide Show, which draws 500,000, and returns after two years.

A Premier’s Live Music Advisory Council will be set up with the sector to engage with the government, provide advice, propose new initiatives and identify new developments.

“This brings a certainty at a time when the restrictions are lifted, and we’re looking forward,” Pippin said.

Adelaide live music

This month’s Adelaide Fringe and Adelaide Festival returned to pre-pandemic buoyancy.

The Fringe wrapped up on the weekend with a better-than-expected $19.7 million box office, sales of 727,567 tickets and a total attendance of 3.2 million over 31 days.

Adelaide Festival surpassed its target, with 67,000 tickets worth $4.9 million and 24% of attendees were from outside the state.

Labor’s win at the South Australian election means the return of the Adelaide 500 in December.

The music biz has been championing its return due to the benefits of its track-side concerts.

“Living in Adelaide and bringing my family up here, I know just how big a loss the race has been to the events and entertainment industries,” according to Dave Gleeson of The Screaming Jets and The Angels.

Flashpoint Events’ Peter Darwin, who was site and production manager of Bands On Track, said the shows drew 40,000 to 50,000 for international names, and between 10,000 and 15,000 and major Aussie names.

It also provided exposure for up and coming acts like Bad//Dreems, Colourblind and Seabass.

“The shows would mean employment for 30 to 40 people to build the stages, 80 security, 10 to 15 caterers, 60 to 70 lighting plus electricians,” Darwin said.

“The concerts ran over four days but it would mean a month of work for crew – that’s one-twelfth of their annual income.”

Labor’s win puts an end to the $650 million 15,000-seat Riverside Arena which the Marshall regime championed to attract national and global entertainment, sports and business events.

But Malinauskas’ priority is for Adelaide to claim the ‘home of live music’ title.

“We all know that the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on a few industries within our state … and live music and the arts more generally has been one of those,” he said.

“As we approach the end of the pandemic era it is absolutely essential that we provide support to those industries that have done it tough, those who have made the big sacrifices.

“We have a commitment to get live music back on its feet.”

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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