Victoria's 10,000 Gigs Fund Faces Criticism From Live Music Venues

Published May 3, 2024

Venue operators in Victoria are voicing their dissatisfaction with a government initiative known as the 10,000 Gigs fund, aimed at bolstering the live music industry. They claim the program's rigid requirements force them to schedule financially unrewarding events to receive government support.

Unrealistic Expectations?

The 10,000 Gigs program was announced with great fanfare as a measure to sustain Victoria's live music scene in the aftermath of COVID's disruption. Venues, however, are concerned that the policy might do more harm than good. Industry personnel feel its focus on a fixed number of performances prioritizes quantity over quality, potentially neglecting the whole musical ecosystem, which sustains various professionals, not solely artists.

Support for Performers or Venues?

The program sets out that venues must back a specific number of performances and comply with a minimum payment per artist. Nevertheless, some venue owners argue that the scheme is more beneficial for individual performers than for the venues themselves, often leaving out crucial supporting roles like sound engineers, lighting technicians, and even general venue maintenance.

Broader Challenges

Bookers across Melbourne report surges in operating costs and changes in consumer behavior, with financial pressures on both younger and older demographics impacting venues' profitability. These challenges are part of a larger national crisis in the industry, as seen with the closure of iconic venues such as The Zoo in Brisbane.

Government Response

Facing this criticism, Victoria's minister for creative industries asserts that the state government values the music industry and is actively seeking solutions to support it. Acknowledging that these challenges are national, the government is actively welcoming feedback from the industry to improve the delivery of the program.

music, controversy, policy