Live Performance Australia (LPA), the arts and entertainment industry peak body, welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement today of $125 million in new RISE funding plus an additional $10 million for Support Act.
LPA Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson said industry recovery is uneven, with parts of the live music and entertainment industry still unable to fully reactivate due to ongoing restrictions but preparing for full activation in Q4 and into 2022.
“With JobKeeper ending this month, the music and live entertainment industry has a significant gap in Q2 and Q3 as it is unable to fully reactivate due to COVID-19 restrictions, notably venue capacity limits, border uncertainties and barriers to international acts entering Australia.
“While we are now seeing more of our theatre productions back on stage, Australia’s live music industry is gearing to deliver events in Q4 onwards. We need to ensure we retain our critical skills base and businesses across the supply chain including artists, crew, technical businesses, managers, promoters and agents.
“A boost to the existing RISE program to get more shows and acts on stages nationally will provide considerable community stimulus to both upstream and downstream businesses which are driven off the back of Australia’s $15 billion live performance industry.
“Extending the scope of the RISE program will provide a targeted and temporary measure for the sector to retain its core skills base as it prepares for full reactivation in Q4 onwards. In addition to music promoters and festivals, this will encourage more direct applications from micro-businesses such as managers and booking agents for contemporary music tours and events.
“It will also help support employment retention in the live music sector over the next six months when it will still be operating well below capacity. Making it easier for businesses to get support to plan shows and claim pre-production costs, which includes key entertainment workers, is critical.
“Lowering the threshold of grant applications will provide more direct support to emerging artist tours and events as well as larger commercial entities.
“We look forward to working with the government to get this money out the door as quickly as possible. This investment by government will help us keep companies alive, projects moving and people in jobs,” Ms Richardson said.