The next recipients of the Government’s RISE Fund grants have been revealed, and another $600K is dedicated to the Guns N’ Roses tour.
The Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund is a Federal Government initiative that was set up to help the Australian music and arts industry recover from COVID-19.
The only problem is, instead of giving that money to struggling artists that need it most, they’re helping their buddies Guns N’ Roses reschedule their Australian tour that was originally planned for 2021.
As much as we’d love to rip into Guns N’ Roses for this entire article, the grants that amass to $1.35 million are actually going to TEG Dainty, a Sydney based promoting company that do have COVID affected staff to pay.
In saying that, TEG Dainty are part of the TEG Live Pty Ltd. conglomerate family that generated an estimated $132 million worth of sales in the last financial year.
So while the pandemic has been a difficult time for every member of the music and arts industries, it’s hard to imagine that TEG Dainty are most in need of grant funding.
As you could imagine, many are also sceptical about the $1.4 million allocated to LEGO Master’s judge, Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught’s LEGO Jurassic World exhibition. Considering he was able to work on a major network throughout the heights of the pandemic, that scepticism seems justified.
Perhaps the most infuriating part of the grant allocations is the fact that not a single cent has been spent on an insurance scheme for artists, venues, and promoters who have had shows cancelled.
Rather, the funds were dedicated to specific events, run by promotors who are much more likely to survive through the pandemic.
Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke has criticised the Government’s spending on Twitter, condemning the Prime Minister, “Does Mr Morrison know what’s happening to the sector”.
Yesterday the Govt announced who gets taxpayers’ money for the Arts RISE grants. $600k for the Guns N’ Roses tour.
And still not a dollar to support a COVID insurance scheme for Australian artists.
Does Mr Morrison know what’s happening to the sector?#arts #auspol
— Tony Burke (@Tony_Burke) December 21, 2021
So there’s still no insurance scheme, which means that all the musicians, promoters and venues who have had shows cancelled after thinking they were finally about to play their first show in months (or possibly years), have no insurance available from the government to make up for the income they’re losing.
Aussie artists have hit out at the Government’s spending with Illy taking to Instagram with a sarcastic vent, writing “How good is a feel-good story! I’m just glad the money’s going to people who need it. Hope guns n roses are ok”.