Australian music organisations have welcomed a pledge by the Victorian government to invest A$34 million in the state’s live music sector.
Premier Daniel Andrews, who is seeking a third term, and minister for creative industries Steve Dimopoulos have also promised cash to support 10,000 concerts over the next four years and $1,000 grants for artists if Labor prevail in this weekend’s state election.
The commitment also includes $2.5m for a Live Music Major Events Fund, providing grants of up to $50,000 for festivals across the state, plus $2.4m for music industry charity Support Act to assist Victorian artists, managers, crew and music workers who face challenges with their mental health.
“We greatly appreciate this election commitment from the Victorian government,” says Support Act CEO Clive Miller. “If realised, it will have an enormous impact for our programs in Victoria, and help us to help the industry build back better after the disruptions of the past few years.
“We know from our own research that people working in music have elevated levels of psychological distress, suicide ideation, anxiety and depression, and that our prevention, education and training programs have real impact, as they are designed and delivered by people who work in music and have lived experience.”
“It will go a long way to helping the music industry get back on its feet and share great music with Victorians”
Miller adds that Support Act’s remit had increased significantly over the past few years, and that he hopes other governments – and the Victorian opposition – are also factoring Support Act into their upcoming budget planning.
The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) has also backed the move.
“The Victorian music community was hit hard by extended lockdowns leading to live performance cancellations, and now face the challenges of reopening with rising costs, skills shortages and poor consumer confidence,” it says.
“This commitment addresses a range of aspects in the music ecosystem including live music, festivals, education and importantly the mental health toll on our community. It will go a long way to helping the music industry get back on its feet and share great music with Victorians.”
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