Hospitality venues in NSW are now able to apply for the Live Performance Venue Grant Program, a $2.3m grant pool part of the $5m Venues Unlocked Program, jointly delivered by Sound NSW and the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner.

The Live Performance Venue Program will be delivered in two phases, with phase one, the Live Performance Venue Accelerator, already underway. It aims to support hospitality businesses to develop skills, confidence and capacity for staging live performance through specialised workshops.

Phase two, the Live Performance Venue Grant Program, provides grant funding of $20,000 to $80,000 to eligible hospitality businesses to contribute to the cost of live performance equipment purchase and installation, and start-up programming and marketing costs.

24-Hour Economy Commissioner Michael Rodrigues explained why live performance is important to the NSW hospitality industry.

“Audiences across the state want more from their night out than just a bite to eat, and something to drink. Live music has always been an essential part of nighttime culture and while the bad old days of lockouts and lockdowns are well and truly behind us, we’ve got a job to do when it comes to amping things up across NSW.

“This program will provide operators with the vital skills they need to re-establish live entertainment as a core part of their nighttime offer and it’s a pleasure to work alongside our specialist music agency Sound NSW to deliver this initiative,” he said.

Emily Collins, Head of Sound NSW, is confident that the program will have an impact on emerging performers.

“Many musicians and performers get their first gigs at pubs, clubs and other hospitality venues and this program will encourage even more of our state’s great venues to open their doors to live music.

“The 24-Hour Economy Commissioner’s Office and Sound NSW are working together to boost NSW’s live music ecosystem and support venues, giving them the confidence they need to book and host live entertainment,” she said.

Applications for the Live Performance Venue Grant Program are now open, and close on 3 April.

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