Live music receives targeted support as pandemic continues

New funding support for the COVID-impacted live music sector is available in QLD and NSW.

Queensland live music venues impacted by COVID 19 can now apply for additional funding support with the opening of the next round of the Palaszczuk Government’s Live Music Support Program.

Between $40,000 and $380,000 is available for venues meeting Arts Queensland’s eligibility criteria

‘We know how hard the live music sector has been hit due to COVID-19, so today [16 July] we’re announcing that live music venues will be able to apply to the next round of Live Music Support program funding, following the Palaszczuk Government’s additional commitment of $7 million announced in the 2021-22 State Budget to help sustain the sector,’ said Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch.    

‘The Live Music Support Program is an extension of support offered to live music venues in 2020-21 and will help offset operational costs for eligible venues, as well as programming and artist fees.

‘With this new investment the dedicated two-year Arts and Cultural Recovery Package, announced last year to sustain the sector during these uncertain times, will now deliver almost $30 million in critical support across Queensland’s arts and cultural sector,’ the Minister said.

Read: $90 million Budget promise to bolster the arts in Queensland

Live music venues and their support for new talent, as well as the work opportunities they offer sound technicians and related staff, have been hard-hit by COVID-19.

‘Queensland’s contemporary music industry relies on the live music economy for its survival and sustainability, with Brisbane’s music industry alone worth an estimated $428 million to the Queensland economy,’ Enoch said.

‘The arts, cultural and creative sectors are key to delivering our plan for economic recovery, each year injecting $8.5 billion into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 jobs for Queenslanders.’

Kris Stewart, CEO, QMusic said: ‘The previous 15 months have been absolutely devastating for the live music industry – from our venues functioning with severely reduced capacities to our local musicians seeing considerably less work than pre-COVID.

‘We congratulate the State Government for making this immediate funding injection into the sustainability of the live music sector, and we look forward to working with them on getting the money to where it’s most needed,’ he said.

Applications for Queensland’s Live Music Support Program are now open.


In NSW, the Berejiklian Government recently announced a $75 million support package for performing arts organisations and live music organisations impacted by the cancellation of shows due to current COVID-19 restrictions.

Read: $75M in lockdown relief for NSW performing arts orgs

An online webinar focused on the needs of NSW’s live music sector and answering questions from sector members will be held today, Wednesday 21 July, from 4:15 – 5:15pm AEST.

In the webinar, Create NSW staff will discuss eligibility requirements and the application process for the $75 million COVID support package.

An additional webinar for the performing arts sector is also being held today from 3-4pm AEST. Register your interest online.

Applications for the relief funding open this Friday 23 July on the Create NSW website.

Additional support for musicians and other members of the live music sector in NSW are available through the City of Sydney’s live music and performance grants program. Applications to the program are now open and close on Monday 23 August 2021

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