News January 14, 2021

Victorian Government announces $8 million rescue package for music and live sectors

Victorian Government announces $8 million rescue package for music and live sectors
Image credit: Linda Xu (@rhindaxu) on Unsplash

The has unveiled funding of almost $8 million for its live sector to survive the pandemic through two programs.

The Victorian Music Industry Recovery Program will cover 130 businesses, artists and venues (covering almost 5,000 jobs), while the second round of the Victorian Live Music Venues Program will aid 68 venues including Cherry Bar, Section 8, Colour Nightclub, Revolver Upstairs, The Spotted Mallard, Thornbury Theatre, The B.East and The Night Cat.

The announcement was made at the Esplanade ‘The Espy’ Hotel in St. Kilda, which was also named a strategic partner.

Creative Industries minister Danny Pearson, making his first major announcement since taking over the portfolio late last year, said: “Our music industry creates and supports thousands of jobs – injecting millions into our economy.

“The programs will revive our music culture by supporting local businesses and workers, so they can continue to do what they do best.”

Venues survive with help with utilities and rent bills and artists get funds to make new music.

Studio ensemble Newmarket Collective got $39,100 for a pilot where those who come to record at Newmarket Studios in North Melbourne get “to collaborate with musicians they normally wouldn’t,” said head producer Guus Hoevenaars. They also get input from the studio’s producers and engineers.

“The collaboration is the focus,” Hoevenaars explained, “but the performances will be recorded and filmed for later use in an online TV show, complete with interviews.”

The funding will pay for the musicians to collaborate, as well as for marketing, videographers and editors.

AboveProof received $15,000 for its COVID-Safe plan ChatBot, an automated computer chat bot that simulates human conversation to help events and venues develop COVID-Safe plans.

Creator Jeremy Koadlow said the idea is to provide a solution for those exasperated businesses and venues which have to set out replies to a Government document to re-open.

“The bot turns a quick interaction into a neat COVID-Safe plan, all written from the perspective of the business owner, so they don’t have to spend time manually writing up their answers.”

With $48,011, Culture Common can develop a feasibility study, business case and design process for a new system that will adapt and apply renewable energy technology for the live music industry to eliminate reliance on diesel generators and transition to net zero emissions.

Muso – We Hear You was awarded $50,000 to develop business and market strategies to provide employment opportunities for emerging and self-managed musicians.

GRID Series, a professional development program for outer suburban artists, was listed for $50,000 for delivering Transmission Outer South East in 2021.

It taps into unearthing talent in the bubbling outer suburbs, giving voice to musicians and storytellers in communities which get little mainstream exposure, and with mentors who totally get what they do.

According to Jacki Tut: “The creative community here in the South-East, it kinda overlaps with the South Sudanese community, and you know that’s something I’m a part of…

“So every South Sudanese talent that comes out, like I’m really rocking with them. Especially the ones that are my age group that I grew up with.”

The $40,000 for promoter GAP Events to deliver a 20-act livestream from the regional Victoria site of the Rainbow Serpent festival on January 23 and 24 was timely.

It’s part of a $100,000 Pozible crowd-raising campaign to stage the festival this year after the Lexton site was hit by bushfires in 2019.

A number of festivals such as Meredith Music, Beyond The Valley and Gaytimes can provide professional development and mentoring opportunities for staff.

Other projects ranged from digital initiatives as tutorials and marketing consultancies to live events including promoter Penny Drop’s 10-day series at Malthouse Outdoor, to livestream events from the likes of DJs Vinyl Vixens.

Also funded was new work by Isaiah Firebrace, Ella Hooper, David Bridie, SADBOY, Bananagun, Barney McAll, Cash Savage and The Last Drinks, Richard Franklin, Hari Sivanesan and Jen Cloher, among others.

You can find the full list of recipients here.

Since the pandemic was declared less than a year ago, the Victorian Government has provided close to $25 million in dedicated support to its music industry.

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