JMR with Minister for the Arts Paul Fletcher

Two iconic live music events on the Bellarine are welcoming a funding boost with Queenscliff’s Blues Train and the Queenscliff Music Festival sharing in more than $608,000, as part of round two of the Live Music Australia Program.

Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said tourists and locals alike have long sought out Queenscliff for their music and hospitality offering and now this funding will help local operators recover from the severe impacts of COVID-19.

“With so many venues impacted by recent lockdowns, the Morrison Government is providing a funding lifeline to regional festivals, theatres and venues to enable more people to come back and enjoy live music,” Senator Henderson said.

“I am delighted to announce the iconic Blues Train will also receive $38,183 to curate and support a special series of shows aimed at the next generation of contemporary blues and roots artists.

Blues Train Founder Hugo T Armstrong said after a devastating blow to the entertainment industry, this funding has enabled the development of the Next Generation concert series set for January 2022.

“The Blues Train was one of the first music venues to close during the pandemic in March 2020 and will be one of the last to return due to it’s unique nature,” Mr Armstrong said.

“We’ve had to pivot our business to develop grant writing skills and apply for support to hibernate and then revive this unique music venue.

“The funding will provide critical support for this favourite live music venue attraction, supporting the Blues Train’s future expansion in Blues and Roots,” Mr Armstrong said.

Senator Henderson said Queenscliff Music Festival has been awarded $27,500 to establish their debut season as a new live music venue.

Queenscliff Music Festival Director Andrew Orvis said ‘we’re very excited to work on this new project which will breathe life in to the beautiful and historic Queenscliff Town Hall, and feature a series of monthly concerts beginning later in 2021’.

‘This funding will enable us to purchase equipment such as a PA system, lighting, and staging to help make the Town Hall a fantastic community arts space for live music, performances, theatre, films and more, that will benefit all existing and new Town Hall users.’

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the grants would provide critical support for the Australian live music industry.

“This program is assisting live music venues across the country to re-open and rebuild their capacity for programming activity as restrictions on public gatherings and live music performance are lifted,” Minister Fletcher said.

“The Morrison Government is pleased to continue to support local venues to increase performance opportunities and showcase Australian talent,” Minister Fletcher said.

The Morrison Government is investing more than $1 billion into the arts and creative sector through a diverse range of programs in 2021-22.

For the list of round two recipients and for information on how to apply for round three, visit: www.grants.gov.au or www.arts.gov.au.

21 July 2021