Victoria has announced a multi-million-dollar package and insurance scheme to support the return of the state’s live music and festival scene.
Danny Pearson, Victoria’s minister for creative industries, announced that the $20 million Live Music Restart package will provide new support and insurance measures to an industry battered by brutal COVID-19 lockdowns.
The package includes an $8 million program for music venues to recruit and train new staff, invest in COVID-safe infrastructure, and get more musicians and industry professionals back to work. It also provides $8 million to help music festivals recover from the uncertainty and impact of rescheduled and cancelled events due to the pandemic.
A further $4 million will bring music performances to the CBD and inner-city, complementing a previously announced $5 million for regional and outer-suburban events.
Additionally, Victoria announced that an interruption insurance product will give organisers of creative festivals, business conferences and sporting and community events the confidence to plan and stage future events.
“The 12-month scheme, subsidised by the government and delivered by the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA), will insure up to $230 million of events against cancellation due to public health measures, or where events have reduced capacity due to restrictions,” the state said in a media release. “The insurance scheme responds to calls from the sector to address a gap in the market and provide peace of mind.”
“Victoria is Australia’s music heartland and we’re making sure the industry can return stronger than ever and people can enjoy a summer of gigs and festivals,” said Pearson. “This package will help our music industry get up and running quickly, giving venues the confidence to throw open their doors and get people back to work on stage and behind the scenes.”
Meanwhile, Julia Robinson, managing director of the Australian Festival Association (AFA), said she welcomed the support and looks forward to “working with the government to achieve the shared aim of seeing live music back at festivals.”
“Everyone from the crew to the promoters and event staff want to get back to work, and we know audiences want to see live music at festivals again,” she said. “This package will help build business confidence to kickstart the industry getting shows back on the road.”
Victoria’s announcement comes after the federal government launched the Export Stimulus Program in August – a $1.2 million package that allows fully-vaccinated Australian musicians and crew to return to live music venues and festivals overseas.