Eligible for grants up to $130,000, live music venues can pull themselves out of the wreckage

Eligible for grants up to $130,000, live music venues can pull themselves out of the wreckage

Ceres at The Corner, image by David Harris
Words by Tom Parker

Applications for the Victorian Live Music Venues Program close on Thursday.

In early July, the Victorian government announced a $15 million support package for the state’s live music venues, designed to help them survive the lockdown while also aiding them with their return to business, providing employment opportunities for those who make live music happen – the artists, crew, bookers, promoters and more.

Titled the Victorian Live Music Venues Program, the initiative caters for Victorian venues with a capacity of between 50 and 1,200 people and who have a solid reputation for “presenting original live music and demonstrate best practice in business operations”, as per a statement from Creative Victoria.

The applications were originally open until August 6 but the deadline has since been extended to 5pm, August 13 to allow as many live music venues as possible to express their interest. Eligible venues could receive up to $130,000 as part of the scheme.

To help Victorian live music venues understand the application process, Music Victoria are hosting an info session at 4.30pm on Monday August 10. Moderated by Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan, lawyer, educator, author and journalist Andrew Watt will appear during the forum alongside Auspicious Arts Projects client manager Selene Bateman.

Creatives across the board have lost work from the venue shutdowns caused by COVID-19 and there has been a genuine risk of many live music venues closing due to the severity of the situation.

The importance of Melbourne’s live music scene is evident by the numbers: More than 17.5 million people attend a gig in Victoria in a calendar year while in 2017, it was found by Music Victoria that $1.42 billion was spent in small venues and at concerts and festivals. There are 553 active live music venues in Greater Melbourne, hosting more than 73,000 gigs per year.

Melbourne is globally recognised as a live music capital and is home to more live music venues per capita than any other city in the world.

RSVP to Music Victoria’s panel discussion here. Apply for the Victorian Live Music Venues Program here.

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