$1 million stimulus needed to save Inner West performing venues

Tuesday 23 March 2021

Representatives of live music venues and theatres across the Inner West have joined together, calling on the NSW Government to immediately expand the $1 million assistance package for live performance in the Sydney CBD and extend it to
venues in the Inner West.

The call for action came out of an emergency summit convened last night by Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne, in response to the pending closure of many live music venues.

“We need immediate action from the NSW Government to save music venues across Sydney. The $1 million provide to the City of Sydney to support live music events must be replicated in the Inner West urgently if we are going to save live music venues,” said Mayor Byrne.

“With the JobKeeper program finishing on 31 March, industry experts have forecast that as many as 85 per cent of venues could end up closing their doors.

“The Inner West Music Census, undertaken before COVID, shows the Inner West was home to the largest number of music gigs in Sydney. Despite this, our venues are yet to receive a single dollar of support from the NSW Government.

“Six months ago, the live music industry launched the ‘Save Our Stages’ campaign in a desperate plea to the NSW Government to provide urgent support for music venues.

“The organisers made it very clear at the time that without financial support from the Government many venues would not be able to survive the months of stringent COVID safety measures and social distancing restrictions.

“The Government must immediately roll out a stimulus package to help music venues survive, or watch as more of them go to the wall,” Mayor Byrne said. 

The crisis summit was held on the back of the recent announcement that iconic Inner West live music venue Old 505 Theatre is to close down at the end of March.

“The closure of Old 505 Theatre is just the canary in the coalmine for live music venues across the city,” he added. 

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Page last updated: 06 Apr 2021