Aus Music Week wrapped up its wildly successful second instalment in Sydney over the weekend. A huge celebration of Australian music, the music conference saw a plethora of bands, punters and key industry figures flock to Cronulla in what is steadily becoming one of they key music events of the year in Australia.
Amongst the industry authorities at the festival was Bluesfest director Peter Noble, who took the chance to take a stab at the appalling funding cuts in the arts and Australia’s visa fee increases enforced by the Liberal Government.
“Mike Baird’s gotta go!” – Bluesfest director Peter Noble lashes out against the Liberals at an industry panel at Australian Music Week.
Sitting on a panel that included author and radio man Stuart Coupe, Keith Welsh from Icehouse and Aussie musician Diesel, Noble wasted no time in making some candid comments on the current political climate when asked about the music scene in the inner west. “I think the best way to get live music back in the inner west is to get rid of the Liberal Party,” he said.
“They have cut funding to just about every arts funding. And if you’re Indigenous, forget about it. Then they changed the visa fees…We’re trying to get new artists booked in this country — they have to pay the fees to come in and showcase! Imagine if it was Germany: no visa fees, no tax, [they’re like], ‘Come to our country to perform, because it’s called culture’. This is what we do, we present culture.”
He also spoke about the recent funding cuts to Sounds Australia, who are crucial champions of Aussie music on an international scale. “Sounds Australia — is Millie [Millgate from Sounds Australia] here? — she’s had two-thirds of their funding knocked off. She’s going, ‘There’s only three of us in the office anyway. Can we afford to showcase at SXSW next year? No.'”
“Guys, please, this is serious,” he continued. “It’s not just happening in one area, it’s happening across arts funding. They’re cutting our major body for Australian artists overseas. Increasing the costs of visas will mean less tours — at the lower end, not the higher end! Thank you to anyone who goes out there and stands up and gets involved in protest, but Mike Baird’s gotta go! The Labor woman in Queensland’s gotta go.”
Preach, Peter. Preach.
via The Music.
While you’re here, check out our piece on how to promote your band.