The Music for Victoria Fund has been received with open arms by the music industry. The initiative was launched two months ago as a response to the global pandemic which caused a devastating economic crisis in the live music ecosystem in Victoria. Its purpose was to reinvigorate the once vibrant live music scene with $2,000 grants for live music venues to support local artists and musicians.
So far the Fund has achieved the following milestones:
- 980 artists supported
- 149 grants approved
- 85 venues have supported live gigs (52 metro, 33 regional)
- Over $450,000 distributed so far
- By the time all of the grants are dispersed, the Fund will have supported 197 gigs in total
- Venues across Victoria that have applied to the Fund span from Geelong, Wangaratta, Meredith, Gippsland, Queenscliff, Mornington, Violet Town, Yarraville, Brunswick, South Yarra and St Kilda among many others
- Artists who have been programmed as a result of the successful grants include Diesel, Ross Wilson, Thando, Mia Dyson, The Pierce Brothers, Bonnie Anderson, Kingswood, Ella Hooper, Rai Thistlethwayte, Chocolate Starfish, Renée Geyer, Jon Stevens and Daryl Braithwaite.
“It is wonderful to see the fantastic take-up of the Fund and hear of the incredible support it is offering the live music industry. The generosity of the many funders has been overwhelming and it’s providing the much needed injection into the industry by supporting so many artists and venues deeply affected by the pandemic. We’re more than thrilled that artists and venues across the state are able to reconnect with their audiences and enjoy the irreplaceable experience of live music,” says Arts Centre Melbourne CEO Claire Spencer AM.
Gigs have already taken place across the state with artists being booked to perform until December 2021. One of the first gigs to take place as a result of the Fund were Aussie rock ‘n’ roll legends Chocolate Starfish at South Wharf’s Melbourne Public.
“Receiving the Music for Victoria Fund grant in such challenging times enabled our venue to bring live music back to South Wharf. With pubs under density limits, this program removes some of the risk of providing live events. It was so exciting bringing in well-known act Chocolate Starfish so our patrons could enjoy a night out with a great band,” says Richard Chatfield, Director of Melbourne Public.
“Being able to perform our scaled back shows coming out of an intense lockdown meant so much to the band and brand that is Chocolate Starfish. Arts Centre Melbourne’s assistance in providing a grant enabled Melbourne Public and Starfish to approach the marketing and performance of the concert in a way that provided confidence to all parties. This obviously resonated with a sold out, truly united outcome that benefited all involved,” says Chocolate Starfish front man Adam Thompson.
The Fund is still accepting applications however the allocation of grants is almost exhausted. There is $97,000 remaining – 48 grants – from the generous pool of over $500,000 donated by a number of Melbourne business leaders.
Some of the donors to the Music for Victoria Fund have chosen to remain anonymous but others include:
Beck Family Foundation
The Deague Family
Michael and Helen Gannon
John Higgins AO and Jodie Maunder
Craig Kimberley OAM and Connie Kimberley
Solomon Lew and Roza Lew
Eddie McGuire AM
Pratt Family Foundation
Ken Roche AO
Gerry Ryan OAM and Val Ryan
Rick Smith AM
Swann Family Foundation
Due to overwhelming interest, the Fund is very close to being exhausted and applications have paused. If venues would like to be notified when the Fund re-opens to accept applications in the future, they can email [email protected]
We’re excited to be welcoming visitors back to all of our venues for live experiences in line with the most recent Victorian Government guidelines on COVID-19. We will continue to offer engaging online experiences via our digital hub – Together With You.
For more information including: our current health and safety policies; bookings for free and ticketed events; and other digital content and experiences, please visit artscentremelbourne.com.au.
Photo Credit: Jayden Ostwald