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Victorian Live Venues Given $15m ‘Lifeline’ From State Government

Venues that can hold between 50 and 1,200 patrons will be able to apply for the Victorian Live Music Venues Program within a couple of weeks.

Melbourne rockers King Gizzard – a staple of Australian venues – performing live

Victorian venues are set to receive some of the $15m put aside by the state government in an effort to keep them up and running.

Ashley Mar

The Victorian government has given the state’s live music venues something of a much needed “lifeline” by way of a $15m package to ensure their survival during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley unveiled the Victorian Live Music Venues Program on Saturday, which aims to “secure the future of grassroots venues which are the heart and soul of Victoria’s $1.7 billion live music industry”.

While an official statement praised the state’s vibrant live music scene (name-checking the likes of Tash Sultana and Angie McMahon in the process), the full program is set to make funds available to venues which have a capacity of between 50 to 1,200 people, and “have a solid reputation for presenting original live music and demonstrate best practice in business operations.”

“Venues have been a vital part of our music culture and economy – hosting thousands of gigs a week, providing a vital career-making platform for artists and employment for industry workers,” Foley explained.

“While our love of music has continued online throughout the shutdown, paid work for many in the industry has dried up. By helping to secure venues for the future, we’ll help the industry bounce back when it is safe to do so.”

Angie McMahon also shared her support for the program, likening venues to “gathering places for generations new and old to share their experiences and beliefs inside the warm embrace of music.”

“If they were to fall under, our state would lose its unique voice, and the thriving culture that makes it such a progressive and exciting place to live,” she added.

Applications for the Victorian Live Music Venues Program will be open from July 16th until August 4th, with full details available via the Creative Victoria website. This program follows on a previously-announced $4m package announced to support the industry, including musicians and industry workers who have lost work as a result of the pandemic.