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Arts and CultureToursim

New Investment to Get Music Venues Back on Track

Victoria’s world-famous live music venues have received a boost from the State Government to get artists back on stages, audiences back in venues and help live music make a strong return across the state.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson today visited Queenscliff’s iconic Blues Train to announce grants to 131 venues, including the music-fuelled train, through the Victorian Live Music Venue Support Program.

Since opening in 1994, the Blues Train has taken over 300,000 guests on a local heritage journey sound-tracked by some of the region’s most talented blues and roots musicians. New funding will see music return to the tracks.

Among new support recipients is Queenscliff Town Hall, which opened as a music venue last year thanks to a partnership between the Queenscliff Music Festival and the Borough of Queenscliff – addressing a lack of venues in an area known for music-loving audiences.

The Town Hall and Blues Train are just two of the unique venues that make up the rich tapestry of Victorian live music – other supported venues include iconic Melbourne live music venues such as the Curtin Hotel, The Corner Hotel and the Northcote Social Club.

Targeting venues with capacities of 50 to 1,200 people, the program provides grants of up to $65,000. This investment recognises the critical role music venues play in the state’s live music scene, not just setting the stage for memorable gigs but providing a vital platform for artists and employment for industry workers.

With dedicated funding for programming live gigs, the initiative is getting musicians back where they flourish – on the iconic stages across the state that showcase why Victoria is the live music capital of Australia.

Since the start of the pandemic the Labor Government has provided more than $80 million in dedicated support for the music sector, including earlier tranches of the Live Music Venue Support Program.

The Victorian Budget 2022/23 continues this commitment with an additional $2.9 million to establish and strengthen regional touring circuits for live music and expand revenue streams for local artists.

In further support for live music, the Government is also offering music fans a 25 per cent rebate for ticket purchases over $40 through the Victorian Entertainment Program.

For the full list of venues supported through the Live Music Venues Support Program, visit creative.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson

“It’s a well known fact that Victoria is Australia’s live music capital, this latest funding will ensure our live music industry can offer the best experiences and continue to attract visitors from across Australia and the world.” 

“From blues trains to bandrooms, halls to hotels, these venues mean that artists can get in front of audiences and punters can enjoy incredible live performances right across our state.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville

“The Blues Train is an iconic music attraction and  I know that Hugo T Armstrong and his team combined with State Government support  the Blues Train will go from strength to strength.

“The Queenscliff Town Hall is quickly gaining a reputation as a great music venue and this funding will help consolidate that much deserved reputation.