Feds Aid Aussie Concerts

Lobbying by the live music sector for greater support from the Australian Government has been effective.

The 2012-13 budget, delivered May 9, increased funding to the sector, which is estimated to add A$1.2 billion to the Australian economy. Music export body Sounds Australia, which increases the profile of Aussie acts at international trade events and showcases, received an additional $1.7 million.

“We can’t wait to use this additional funding to boost our support of Australian artists in the international arena,” Sydney-based export music producer Millie Millgate said from the UK, where she was coordinating the appearances of 17 Australian acts at The Great Escape.

Brett Cottle, CEO of the Australasian Performing Right Association, which set up Sounds Australia with the Government’s arts funding body the Australia Council, added it would help increase the number and frequency of venues booking live music and encourage more international acts to use locals as support acts.

The Contemporary Music Touring Program, which funds tours to regional areas, now has an extra $400,000 a year. The West Australian Music Industry Association got $1.3 million to educate and promote new apprenticeships and residencies to sharpen songwriting and performing skills.

But funding for the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (AMRAP) was not renewed. AMRAP delivers new independent music to 2,000 broadcasters from 300 stations. “It’s incredibly disappointing to see such a valuable project that gets Australian music to radio stations all over the country cast aside at this point and we are determined to work with Government to find a way to keep the project going”, said its chair Catherine Haridy.