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Victorian venues benefit from government grants 

The Victorian Government has awarded grants to 131 live music venues across the Australian state to support the return of live entertainment.

A number of venues have been awarded grants from the Victoria Live Music Venues Support Program, which took submissions between February and March. Grants of up to A$65,000 (£37,000/$47,000/€44,000) have been awarded to venues with capacities between 50 and 1,200 people.

Venues such as The Blues Train, Piano Bar Geelong and Queenscliff Town Hall in Geelong, just outside of Melbourne, have benefitted from the funding.

Hugo Armstrong, The Blues Train operator, told news outlet The Geelong Times that the grant would be used to hire more musicians, pay for PA systems, venue hire costs and music equipment.

He said: “It really acknowledges what has become public knowledge, which is that the music industry was the first to leave and the last to return. Live music venues were heavily affected by lockdowns and live music venues still have staffing shortages and a long way to go.

“At the end of the day it’s an acknowledgement of the important role, and if we lose live music venues we lose the important things that are associated with them. It’s the venues that bring the food, the beverage, the live entertainment, the production, the sound, all of all of these businesses together. Venues work across hospitality, tourism, events, and live entertainment, so the flow-on is much greater.”

The grants display a continued dedication from the local government to support the live music industry in Victoria.

Last month, the Victorian Government gave a grant of A$190,000 to live music industry body CrewCare to train and deliver more job-ready music crews.

The funding will support CrewCare to deliver ‘A Pathway to Jobs in Live Music: The Weasel Eicke Scholarship’, which will equip participants with the necessary skills and experience to start working in the sector.

The scholarship was named after production industry veteran Wellesley ‘Weasel’ Eicke, and will cater for production students and crew workers looking to re-enter the workforce with skills, experience and possible industry connections.

Image: israel palacio on Unsplash