Live music venues across Queensland have been handed a lifeline, with the Palaszczuk Government announcing a new funding program to “help offset revenue loss and stabilise their operations”.

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID restrictions on indoor live music venues and touring, large venues are now able to apply for up to $80,000 worth of funding, while smaller venues can apply for up to $60,00.

“Live music venues are an important part of Queensland’s vibrant music industry as an incubator for new talent and the development of artists,” Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said.

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“Venues are also a creator of employment opportunities for musicians, technicians and other creatives within the broader music industry.

“Our Government recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our arts and cultural sector. This package of operational venue support, in addition to funding for music touring, is specifically targeted to boost the sustainability of the live music sector in Queensland.

“The Live Music Support program is an evolution of the successful Live Music Venue Support program, which has provided funding to 26 live music venues in Queensland since opening in July last year as part of our Government’s $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package.”

Following the state’s snap lockdown earlier this week, which saw a slew of events cancelled, the funding is intended to help venues operate amid the current COVID-safe restrictions.

“We want to help ensure the viability of our live music venues as we focus on recovery in Queensland,” Enoch said.

“In addition to delivering economic outcomes in Queensland, live music venues connect artists, audiences and communities and realise important, social and cultural contributions across the state.”

QMusic CEO Angela Samut added: “Live music provides essential social and community benefits as well as economic impacts that flow on to other industries including tourism and hospitality. 

“Venues are critical to the survival and sustainability of our industry and providing employment opportunities for Queensland artists, technicians, crew and other music industry workers who rely on live performance and ensure a pipeline of emerging talent.

“This funding package will offer venues a lifeline following the recent lockdown and ensuing cancelled shows.

“It gives a nod to the intrinsic value of experiencing live music which can enhance mental health and overall wellbeing for local communities across our state.

“We thank Minister Enoch and the Queensland Government for their support and we encourage everyone to go out and see some live music.”

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