Music in Victoria is big business with live music contributing $1.04 billion annually to the state economy (that’s more than the AFL!) and so its only fitting that in budget news released today that independent body Music Victoria will receive funding for another two years, but the bad news is that its funding has been cut in half.

The State Government has announced that the peak music body will receive continued funding of $250,000 over a two year period. But that’s a mere half of what was dished out for the organisation previously. Music Victoria was heavily backed two years ago, receiving funding of $500,000 over two years in the 2011-2012 state budget. This year’s funding however will be divvied up with $150,000 to be paid this financial year and $100,000 the next.

As reported by The Music, the Coalition expected that the group would be self-sufficient by 2013, but with annual operating costs estimated at $250,000 that’s a heck of a lot to self-sustain.

Despite the drop in finances  in a press release welcoming the news of another two years’ funding, Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan said, ‘’Music Victoria appreciates the opportunity by the state government to continue to be the voice for the industry and to ensure that voice is heard loud and clear. The industry has come a long way in the last five years and we will continue to work hard on leveraging these new opportunities.”

The group is trying to rally financial support from members to help fill the gap in their finances through their ongoing membership drive. “The government is sending a clear message to the industry to get behind and support Music Victoria, and we urge those with an interest in the scene to come on board as a financial member from just $22,” said Donovan. “The government is sending a clear message to the industry to get behind and support Music Victoria…” – Patrick Donovan

As for what the funding will go towards, Music Victoria will continue to support the industry on a number of projects. The body will continue to partner with the government on the Live Music Roundtable, review outdated building code provisions and planning laws (which have plagued many venues in recent times), improve opportunities for the underage scene, and help to write a Best Practice Guide for venues.

So how does Music Victoria’s funding of $250,000 over two years stack up against the rest of the arts budget? State Arts Minister Heidi Victoria has championed a whopping $28.9 million investment in the arts. $4.5 million of this will go towards the National Gallery of Victoria to be paid over two years, $5 million will go towards the Arts and Cultural Facilities Maintenance Fund, $4 million over two years to the programming at the Arts Centre Melbourne, and $3 million over two years to build organisational capacity at the State Library of Victoria.

With such a significant contribution to the state economy, there’s no doubt that Music Victoria deserves the funding. Their recently reported that live music contributes $1.04 billion annually to the Victorian economy, based on ticket and door sales as well as purchases made by punters at gigs, and when contextualised, it outdoes the patronage of an entire AFL season three fold.

In light of these figures Donovan said, “we’re showing the Government that this is a major, significant industry that needs to be funded as much as sport is.”

Whilst the exact figures for sport in the state budget are yet to be revealed, there’s no doubt that Australia’s ‘sporting capital’ will be receiving more than $250,000 over two years in government funding.

These figures come courtesy of a census held by Music Victoria, released back in March, and also revealed that “on a typical Saturday night,” 97,000 patrons head to live music venues to attend gigs and shows, generating an average $745,000 in door and entry fees. While spending on transport, drinks, food, and merch generates a whopping $3.7 million, and estimates from the survey demonstrate 900 musicians, 740 Djs, 237 production crew, and 2,730 venue staff are employed on a typical Saturday night.

For more information on Music Victoria, or to sign up for a membership, head to

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