Aussie Festivals Primed To Thrive With $2.5 Million Government Funding Boost

18 January 2024 | 2:49 pm | Ellie Robinson

37 festivals across the country will benefit from a new round of funding for the government’s Live Music Australia scheme.

A Festival Called Panama

A Festival Called Panama (Supplied)

Reps for the Labor Government have detailed the latest round of funding for its Live Music Australia scheme, distributing $2.5 million to the promotors behind some of our most hotly anticipated music festivals.

In a press release from the office of MP Tony Burke – who, among his many roles in Parliament, is Labor’s Minister For The Arts – it was confirmed the funding would be put towards 37 festivals, which will be held across 105 venues nationwide and reflect “a wide range of genres, organisations and audiences”.

Among those set to benefit from the funding will be the Red Country Music Festival (held in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, some 1,300 kilometres out from Perth), the Desert Harmony Festival (another outback event, bringing “a celebration of music, language and culture” to the Barkley region of the Northern Territory), A Festival Called PANAMA in Tasmania, and Brisbane’s three-day rockabilly extravaganza GreazeFest.

The press release notes that funding will be granted to events spanning a range of sizes and scopes, from established mega-festivals to “up-and-coming, grassroots-level events”.

In a document breaking down the distribution of funds – which you can see for yourself here – it’s said that $100,000 will go towards enhancing accessibility for disabled punters at Groovin The Moo 2024 (which was announced earlier this week). Another $100,000 will help fund this year’s Splendour In The Grass, and $60,000 will go towards the Queenscliff Music Festival in Victoria.

“Music festivals are the life blood of the live music sector in this country – that’s why this Government is backing them in,” Burke said in a formal statement. “We know the live music sector continues to face challenges, which is why we’re determined to support it. This program will help artists and musicians do what they do best – sharing Australian music and stories with audiences right across the country.”

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The Live Music Australia scheme comes as part of the Australian Government’s Revive initiative – itself part of the National Cultural Policy – which has been dubbed “a five-year plan to revive the arts in Australia” with an aim “to ensure there is a place for every story, and a story for every place”. The next round of Live Music Australia funding will be launched next month, targeting small-to-medium-sized live music venues.