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$3m funding boost for South Australian live sector

South Australia’s live music scene has received a boost courtesy of a AUS$3 million (€1.9m) government support package.

Up to $300,000 will be available for venues and promoters, via the Live Music Support Package, along with up to $50,000 for touring artists and their local crews, if they can demonstrate a decline in income compared to pre-Covid-19 levels.

Premier Steve Marshall made the announcement as part of a $7m commitment to the arts, reports The Music Network.

“[They] have been some of the hardest hit industries by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions that were necessary to ensure South Australians stayed safe,” he says.

“As we get closer to the reopening of our borders to interstate and international travellers, it is imperative that our arts and cultural organisations, live music venues, artists and promoters are in a position to resume operating as soon as the restrictions lift.

“The Marshall government is committed to the arts and music sector and creating and supporting as many jobs in the industry as possible – and this package shows our support.”

We are all looking forward to seeing the industry flourish again

Minister for innovation and skills David Pisoni adds: “South Australian businesses in the music and performing arts sector directly contributed more than $183 million to the local economy in 2018-19 prior to Covid-19 and we are all looking forward to seeing the industry flourish again.”

It was not all good news for the sector, however, which has been lobbying to return to full-strength in time for the December-February summer season. Music venues were left out of the state’s latest roadmap out of Covid restrictions as they were still considered “high risk”, with “density limits, mask use and bans on dancing and standing up while drinking” set to continue until the state reaches 90% vaccination.

According to the government’s vaccine rollout update, 62.5% of the country’s population are now fully vaccinated. Last month, Australia’s live industry came together to launch a pro-vaccination campaign under the banner #Vaxthenation.

Meanwhile, a recent study found that Covid-19 stripped Australia’s live entertainment industry of AUS$1.4 billion in revenue during 2020.


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Hip-hop concert cancelled over vaccine mandate

A hip-hop concert headlined by The God MC Rakim, KRS‐One and Slick Rick was cancelled by promoters due to the venue’s vaccine policy.

The Move The Crowd event, which was also set to feature special guests Chubb Rock and JJ Fad, was planned for 7 November at Detroit’s Masonic Temple in the US.

The venue is operated by AEG Presents, which requires fans in the US to be vaccinated to gain entry. However, the Detroit Metro Times reports that organisers 2D Productions & Entertainment and Big Step Entertainment have now pulled the show, citing a low vaccination rate among hip-hop fans.

“We’ve received hundreds and hundreds of texts, voicemails and comments on social media about the Masonic Temple’s vaccination mandate,” reads an email by 2D’s Derrick Kearney. “We have also found out that the majority of concert goers in that hip-hop demographic aren’t vaccinated. So the vaccination mandate with the Masonic Temple is the reason.”

The show will be moved to another venue and date.

We don’t want concerts to go away again, and this is the best way to keep that from happening

AEG Presents has implemented the vaccine mandate across all its venues, clubs and theatres since 1 October in response to the dramatic upswing in Covid-19 cases in the US.

“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and chairman and CEO of AEG Presents, said at the time.

“Our hope is that our pro-active stance encourages people to do the right thing and get vaccinated. I think everyone can agree that we don’t want concerts to go away again, and this is the best way to keep that from happening.”

Shawn Trell, COO and general counsel, AEG Presents, added: “Certain states’ regulations may override our mandate, or a few artists may not want to immediately get on board with the plan, but we know that using our platform to take a strong position on vaccinations can make an impact.”

Country music singer Travis Tritt came into criticism last week after telling Fox News he would no longer play venues with vaccine mandates or elaborate testing requirements.


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