The Australian Government has pledged $75 million to aid the country’s ailing festival and events industry. The announcement comes as part of a wider $250 million package that will throw a lifeline to the arts and culture sector which has been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic.
The funding of $75 million will be distributed in the form of a grant program to help local businesses to produce festivals, concerts, tours and other events, with those grants ranging from $75,000 to $2 million each. A further $90 million will be made available in the form of concessional loans to help fund new productions.
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Some state governments have also allocated relief funds to the arts. In Victoria, $4 million has been allocated for a music industry support package, and the South Australian government announced a similar $1 million package.
While the pandemic’s ongoing impact to the Australian music sector is difficult to predict, community reporting organisation I Lost My Gig Australia tallied expected losses for the industry at $340 million as of April 27th.
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Earlier this month, the Victorian music scene launched a Save Our Scene campaign calling on the state government to support Melbourne’s nightlife, an industry they estimate generates $1.42 billion in annual revenue.