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APRA AMCOS Welcomes Funding for Live Music, Calls for Long-Term Tax Offset Solution

Media Published Friday 17 May 2024

APRA AMCOS, the largest music industry body in the region representing over 119,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers, applauds the Australian Government announcement of $ 8.6 million in critical funding to support festivals and live music venues.

“This urgent funding comes at a crucial time. Australia has lost more than a quarter of its live music venues and stages across the nation since the pandemic,” said APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston.

In last night's federal budget, the Australian Government announced $8.6 million in 2024–25 for Revive Live, aiming to bolster Australian live music venues and festivals showcasing local talent, while also enhancing accessibility and inclusion at live music performances.

“We applaud Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Minister for the Arts Tony Burke for their commitment to music, which also includes ongoing funding for music through the new national music development Music Australia.”

APRA AMCOS also welcomes the vital $53.8 million investment in two new First Nations Language Centres, $7.9 million to support people with disability to access and participate in the creative arts, $14.5 million for the production of children's television and $117.2 million for Australia’s arts training institutions including NIDA and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

“The $8.6 million investment in Revive Live is timely. We know there are many reasons for the continuing closure of iconic venues and festivals across the country: these include substantial increased costs associated with supply chains, soaring public liability insurance premiums, as well as changes in consumer behaviour with cost-of-living pressures.

“Live music venues, especially smaller establishments, find themselves squeezed between rising operational expenses and diminishing profit margins. As a result, many venues are forced to either pass on the increased costs to patrons through higher ticket prices or cut back on live music events altogether. Or worse, they shut their doors and turn off the lights.

“APRA AMCOS once again calls for a sustainable long-term measure to ensure the viability of the live music venues and festivals. Australia urgently requires a national catalyst in the form of a tax offset to revive Australian live music.”

In an APRA AMCOS survey of live music venues, nightclubs and promoters this month, almost 80 per cent said support through a tax offset was the most important solution to the current crisis.

“A tax offset to support the growth of live music would not only be a catalyst for the social and cultural development of live music it would also provide an injection of confidence across the tourism and hospitality economy,” Dean Ormston said.

“The role live music plays in the economic, social, and cultural fabric of Australia cannot be overstated. A healthy live music scene in our cities, suburbs, regional centres, and towns provides a competitive advantage and is the feeding ground for Australia’s fast-growing musical exports.

"When a venue closes and gigs and festivals are cancelled, the artists, DJs, supply chains, and local economies that support live music are affected. There is also that intangible cost when artists are unable to bring communities together, connect with their fans, and when they miss out on the career development that literally can only happen on stage.

“As the Treasurer said in his speech, we need to ensure we secure a future for the nation that taps our ‘confidence, compassion and creativity’. It is songwriters, artists and creators that will help create that future.”