Coinciding with the news that the Minister For The Arts Simon Crean has pledged $200k to fund the new nation wide Contemporary Music Touring Program, on a local level, young Victorians have welcomed an increase in funding by the state government, with the announcement of an additional $2.4 million to be injected into the local grass roots music scene.

Victorian youth music program FReeZA has been gifted a boost in funding by the Victorian Coalition Government, which will be used to fund live music events across the state throughout 2013.

The FReeZA program has gifted opportunities to young musicians over the years, including kicking off the careers of iconic Australian acts such as  Killing Heidi, Airborne, The Vasco Era, Her Nightmare, The Crimson Flames and Neon Love, all of whom have experienced national and international success.

Victoria’s Youth Affairs Minister Ryan Smith announced the $2.4 million funding boost, that will be shared across 80 organisations to help co-ordinate a range of supervised music events for young people, in a press release saying:

“I’m delighted to announce that 80 organisations Victoria-wide will benefit from this latest round of FReeZA funding.” The Youth Affairs Minister later added: “FReeZA is an innovative and exciting program that gives young people the chance to plan, organize and stage local music events in a fully supervised drug, alcohol and smoke free environment.”“FReeZA is an innovative and exciting program that gives young people the chance to plan, organize and stage local music events…”

The lastest financial contribution from the Coalition Government, brings the total FReeZA funding budget to $7.2 million over three years to support the youth coordinated program.

The FReeZa program last year planned and staged more than 400 events across Victoria, attended by more than 130,000 young people, including the likes of music festival Push Over, Battle of the Bands heats, and supported tours through CBD areas.

“FReeZA has been a launching pad for many young people to enter the music and entertainment industry, while over the years, several hundred thousand young people have also had the opportunity to attend live music events in a safe and supervised environment,” said Minister Smith.

For further infomation on the FreeZA program and how to get involved, visit

The announcement of an increase in funding for state budget fueled music programs is welcome news to the ears of many, most of whom have followed the tug-of-war battle between political parties after the overwhelming public support featured in a number of Melbourne’s SLAM music demonstrations.

SLAM organization previously held rallies in opposition to the then Labour Government’s controversial introduction of mandatory liquor-licensing restrictions on live-music venues, which saw the closure of Melbourne’s renowned Tote Hotel as a catalyst for active opposition to the laws, partnering the outrage that followed after contemporary music funding was neglected in place of a major blowout in funding for a boutique classical label.

The full list of FReeZA projects funded include:

  • $57,600 for the Salvation Army’s 614 Melbourne Festival ProjectThe 614 Melbourne Festival Project is a collection of innovative festivals designed by young people, for young people across Melbourne’s CBD.
  • $72,000 for Cultural Infusion’s FReeZA Hip Hop @ The CromThis program will enable young people to create low budget, safe, youth friendly events which encourage young people from all communities to come together to enjoy a wide range of activities.
  • $57.600 for Songlines FReeZA YouthOrganised by Songlines Music Aboriginal Corporation, the intention is to improve the self-esteem, confidence, cultural knowledge, education and social outcomes for Indigenous youth through dance and performance.
  • $72,000 for Minus18 FReeZAMinus18 FReeZAwill provide socially inclusive events and workshops for same sex attracted and sex and gender diverse young people.

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