$2.3 million in funding has been allocated to smaller Brisbane venues as part of an $11 million Live Music Support Program to help ease the impacts of COVID on the state’s live music industry.

The latest round of funding has been rolled out across 22 venues as part of Queensland’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 health directives.

“Round 2 funding of $2.3 million to 22 live music venues will support smaller Brisbane venues such as The Junk Bar, as well as larger venues like The Fortitude Music Hall, The Zoo and regional venues on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Toowoomba,” Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said.

Minister Enoch said the Queensland government had recently amped up investment in the state’s live music industry, with funding of $7 million in the 2021-22 budget.

“Live music venues were quickly able to access this support through Round 2 of the Live Music Support program, off-setting venue costs, and supporting programming and artist fees.

“This investment acknowledges the important role live music venues play in discovering, developing and showcasing Queensland talent and creating employment opportunities for musicians, technicians, venue staff and other enterprises within the broader industry.”

According to Enoch, Brisbane’s music industry alone is worth an estimated $428 million to the local economy.

The CEO of Queensland’s contemporary music peak body QMusic, Kris Stewart, said: “Having a live music industry for audiences to return to post-COVID will only happen if we retain the venues where musicians can perform, and this funding injection by Arts Queensland to these successful venues could well be the factor that allows them to remain viable.”

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