Budget 2019: live music grants a win for small business, thanks to industry lobbying

Thursday, 04 Apr 2019

  • Grants of up to $10,000 for businesses to host live music
  • Industry input sought on what businesses need most to make this happen
  • $22.5 million follows research, lobbying & recommendations from APRA AMCOS, the Australian Hotels Association, hospitality and music industry groups

Following sustained lobbying by APRA AMCOS, hospitality and music industry groups, the Australian Government has agreed to establish a lucrative and Australian-first live music initiative.

Some $22.5 million in the form of grants up to $10,000 for small businesses was confirmed in Tuesday night’s Budget - to encourage more live music performances nationally, not only in traditional live music venues but in premises currently offering patrons background music only. The grants offer an incentive for businesses to trial live music to understand the value it brings to their customers and business overall.

Artist costs, equipment purchases, infrastructure and facility upgrades are all considerations which will mean tens of thousands of enterprises will commit to scheduling more performances in the years to come.

Research1 commisioned by APRA AMCOS shows that Australian businesses are willing to present live music but that cost barriers coupled with limited venue expertise have been hurdles many are hesitant to overcome. This financial package will remove those hurdles.

It is clear live music provides a competitive advantage and stimulates increased consumption of food and beverage, encourages the night-time economy, promotes economic development across the nation for scores of hospitality and cultural workers, and provides work for emerging and established musical artists.

The grants program will be spread over four years and assist thousands of small businesses to grow their bottom line while also creating live performance opportunities for Australian musicians. Full details on the grant guidelines will be finalised through consultation early next year - if you would like to have your voice heard, please let us know.

1. In 2016, APRA AMCOS jointly commissioned Ernst&Young to investigate the need for further investment in the contemporary music industry in Australia to help small businesses. Read more.

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