NSW Government allocates 5 million big ones to amplify live music venues and boost hospitality

NSW is investing 5 million to enhance live music venues with sound proofing, to foster growth and hospitality.

In a strategic move to revitalize the live music scene and support hospitality businesses, the New South Wales government has launched the “Venues Unlocked” program, earmarking a substantial 5 million for upgrades and skills development.

The initiative covers bars, clubs, breweries, restaurants, and cafes across metropolitan and regional areas.

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A significant portion of the funds, totaling 2 million, has been set aside for the Soundproofing Grants for Live Music Venues. Administered by Sound NSW, eligible live music venues can apply for grants of up to $100,000.

These grants aim to facilitate industry-best sound management practices, including infrastructure improvements, capital works, and the acquisition of new equipment based on recommendations from acoustic performance reports.

The remaining 3 million is allocated to the Live Performance Venue Program, managed by the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner. It consists of two phases:

Phase One: Live Performance Venue Accelerator: Designed for hospitality businesses interested in venturing into live performance, this phase offers specialized workshops covering marketing, programming, and essential equipment training. The goal is to equip eligible establishments, such as cafes, clubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, distilleries, and breweries, with the skills and confidence needed for successful diversification.

Phase Two: Live Performance Venue Grant Program: This phase involves a 1.6 million grant program, providing eligible hospitality businesses with access to expert advice and grant funding of up to 80,000. The support is aimed at embedding skills and ensuring the sustainability of live performance venues.

Delivered jointly by Sound NSW and the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner, the Venues Unlocked Program aligns with the NSW Government’s proposed Vibrancy Reforms. These reforms aim to simplify existing regulations, particularly concerning noise disturbance complaints, and provide a unified legal framework for live music and performance venues. The changes include a higher threshold for complaints to progress and eliminate the possibility of a single complainant forcing the closure of a venue.

Application Details:

Interested parties can submit their applications starting November 13, 2023. For full program details, visit http://nsw.gov.au/venues-unlocked.

Ministerial Perspectives:

John Graham, Minister for the Arts and the Night-time Economy, underscores the urgency of supporting live music venues in the face of past closures. Michael Rodrigues, NSW’s 24-Hour Economy Commissioner, expresses a commitment to supporting the growth of live performance venues. Emily Collins, Interim Head of Sound NSW, emphasizes the program’s contribution to the state’s live music ecosystem by providing crucial support for venues through expert acoustic advice and necessary soundproofing upgrades.