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Greens call for public music festival funding

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Music festival funding is needed to secure the sustainability of Australian music festivals, The Greens have said.
Music festival funding

The Federal Government is being urged to consider federal funding for Australian music festivals.

This week, Groovin the Moo announced it would not go ahead this year, joining a growing list of festivals.

Greens spokesperson for the arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has written to Arts Minister Tony Burke, asking him to launch a ‘festivals support package’ to assist the live music industry.

Music festival funding

Groovin the Moo (GTM) was scheduled to take place across April and May with dates across Australia.

However, it won’t go ahead this year after festival organisers announced “ticket sales have not been sufficient to deliver a regional festival of this kind.”

GTM follows a string of post-COVID festival cancellations or postponements, including This That, Vintage Vibes, Falls Festival and Dark Mofo.

Why the call for music festival funding?

The Australian Festival Association (AFA) said organisers are facing post-COVID “increases in supplier cost of 30-40% across the board”.

This includes expenses for toilets, fencing, venue hire, security and transportation of equipment.

However, ticket prices aren’t increasing at the same rate as these costs.

It’s called on governments to work with the industry to help ease expenses and give organisers “the confidence to put their event on”.

In addition to increased costs, the AFA said “a change in ticket purchasing behaviour and trying to get younger audiences to their first festivals,” presented new challenges for organisers.

Industry body Live Performance Australia said “people are having to be more selective in their choices of which festivals to attend” amid cost of living pressures.

It also said people are purchasing tickets at a later stage than they used to, which adds to uncertainty for organisers.

Package

The Greens have called for live music grants to support Australian festivals in light of several cancellations.

Hanson-Young said there is “an urgent need for government support to keep the industry going”.

She has asked Arts Minister Tony Burke to work with organisers to provide the support festivals need “to stay viable”.

The Greens will call on representatives from Australian festivals to appear at an upcoming Senate inquiry into cultural policy.

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