More music funding is on the way as Victoria’s contemporary sector got a slice of the $246 million in this week’s 2022/23 state budget allocated to creative industries as a whole.

At the same time, Western Australia and South Australia also have new initiatives in play.

Victorian music and comedy acts get $2.9 million to play regional venues on the Surf Coast, in Gippsland, the Wimmera-Mallee and other destinations. 

This is in addition to the $20 million Music Industry Restart package, which supported the delivery of gigs around the regions through the Live Music Professionals Alumni program.

The Australian Music Vault, a popular music tourist draw, gets a funding extension.

This week the Vault opened a Wiggles exhibition to commemorate their 2022 Ted Albert Award win for outstanding service to Australian music as part of the APRA Music Awards.

In 2019, an independent study put the value of major events to the state at $2.5 billion. 

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It also showed that major events attracted almost 6.9 million international and interstate visitors to Victoria.

In addition, the $4.4 million events recovery and support program will re-establish Victoria’s calendar of world-class events as it recovers from the pandemic.

A total of $1.7 billion is being spent to transform the Melbourne Arts Precinct and position Victoria as a global arts and events destination.

It includes an additional $241 million for existing restoration works for Arts Centre Melbourne, including new food and beverage outlets.

The $2.4 million Go West Festivals Fund will encourage major events like RISING, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne Fringe –to stage shows in the western suburbs.

The $1.1 million First Peoples Touring and Engagement program is set to take creative events that celebrate First Peoples culture and creativity to regional destinations.

“Victoria is known as the creative state for a reason – our galleries, museums, libraries and theatres bring thousands of people here every year, helping grow our economy and create jobs,” minister for creative industries, Danny Pearson, said.

“We’re backing Victoria’s multi-billion-dollar creative economy so it can keep delivering the jobs Victorians need and the cultural experiences they love.”

 Victoria minister for creative industries
Danny Pearson, Victoria’s minister for creative industries

In other music sweet spots in the Budget, the Victorian Music First licensing initiative increases the use of Victorian music in government settings.

Small to medium-sized organisations benefit from the $17.5 million Creative Infrastructure Program.

Creative workers get more affordable spaces in which to create, through the $6 million Creative Spaces and Places program.

Meantime, Western Australia has followed up its August 29 dropping of restrictions – including the removal of the two square metre rule for venues – with a number of grants.

The McGowan government is ploughing $12 million to boost foot traffic in the Perth CBD and the Northbridge entertainment precinct.

The package includes a $4 million event grants program, of up to $100,000 for individual events including gigs, markets, long-table dinners and food and wine events.

$7 million will be invested in revitalising Yagan Square, with a significant revamp of the Market Hall precinct under hospitality operator Nokturnl. 

Nokturnl operates a number of venues including Old Synagogue in Fremantle and The Beaufort in Mount Lawley.

Next Wednesday (May 11) members of the South Australian music industry have been invited to a meeting with the new SA government.

It is expected they will be briefed on some of the promises made before the March election.

As reported in TIO these included $3.25 million in See It LIVE grants for promoters, a $5 million insurance fund from which to compensate.

Festivals and events which have to cancel due to the pandemic, $1 million for music venue upgrades, $500,000 for concerts at the Royal Adelaide Show, and the setting up of a Premier’s Live Music Advisory Council.

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