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New RISE funding a critical lifeline for Australian music

Media Published Thursday 25 March 2021

The Australian Government has today announced $125 million in new RISE funding

The package will help support the live music and entertainment sector as the JobKeeper program

APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston said "This package recognises the unique place of live music and entertainment industry artists, workers and businesses"

The announcement today of $125 million in new RISE funding and an additional $10m for Support Act from the Australian Government throws a critical lifeline to the live music and entertainment sector as the JobKeeper program ends.

“We are delighted the Australian Government has listened to our plea to help support Australia’s live music entertainment industry through the uncertainty of the next six months,” said Dean Ormston, CEO APRA AMCOS.

“This package recognises the unique place of live music and entertainment industry artists, workers and businesses as the sector struggles to restart under the weight of government restrictions and sudden border closures.

“We urge the Australian Government to expedite the application process so these funds can be distributed to the industry urgently. The livelihoods of thousands will rely on this new package to ensure the sustainability of our sector.

“The proposed expansion of the RISE guidelines will be vital to help support micro businesses including entertainers, crew, managers, promoters and booking agents for contemporary music tours, festivals and events.

“The reduction of the threshold of grant applications from $75,000 to $25,000 will also hopefully provide more direct support to emerging artist tours and events.

“APRA AMCOS has been advocating heavily for the JobKeeper package to be extended beyond March, releasing data last month that showed live music has been trading at less than 4 percent of pre-COVID levels.

“Together with our colleagues from Live Performance Australia, Association of Artist Managers and the Live Entertainment Industry Forum we met with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Minister for the Arts Paul Fletcher to draw their attention to the plight of artists, crew, workers and live music and entertainment businesses.

“Continual border closures and social distancing regulations across Australia has made restarting our part of the economy almost impossible.

“Since March last year there has not been a single national tour undertaken by an Australian artist and there has not been a single festival run at full capacity. Night clubs have largely remained closed and what live music venues are open are still trading at no more than 30 percent of capacity.

“With three dollars generated from every $1 spent on live music, the knock-on effect on the hospitality and tourism industries and regions across the country has been devastating.

“Every live music venue and festival in a city, town centre or regional area is part of an intricate network that supports our industry. Sitting behind these venues and events is an army of musicians, managers, agents, promoters, crew, technicians, music teachers and many other industry professionals.

“If Australian music has any hope of recovering from the pandemic we need to limit the impact of a massive skills shortage for our sector. An industry specific package was the only way this can happen.

“Our attention now turns to the states and territories to provide additional support to our industry, harmonise the regulations surround live music events and to work towards the safe and timely opening of both national and international borders,” Ormston said.

To find out more information and to see if you’re eligible, visit theRestart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund website. If you have any questions, you can email [email protected], or phone (02) 6271 7971.