I’ve got the Lockdown Blues – cause I can’t play to a crowd!

 I’ve got the Lockdown Blues – cause I can’t play to a crowd!






With the series of lockdowns and curfews occurring in Victoria since May 27, 2021, one of the most affected areas, is the performing arts industry.
Singers, musicians, writers, actors, and also the associated crew and support, including technical, retail and merchandise, and event promotion staff and businesses have been shut down throughout the strate, with little or no support. Even as venues open, density limitations have meant that many places have cancelled performances that had been booked months in advance.

Many of the people affected have not qualified for the various business support grants, usually because they are not GST registered, are subject to more casual or intermittent work, and may not be as ‘structured’ as many other business operations. (We can do something about that – but that is the subject of a separate discussion that we are happy to have one on one with you)
The Victorian Government has provided a level of support – for both the individual performers and crew, as well as venues who have had gigs and performances shut down by the metropolitan or regional lockdowns.
There are two Support funds currently available to assist those affected:



1. Live Performance Support Program (Suppliers) Round Two

This provides support to ‘contracted suppliers’.

Who is a contracted supplier?
This is defined in the program as:
A contracted supplier to a live performance event is a business whose primary activity is the delivery of a featured or advertised performance or other goods and services to support the delivery of a live performance event. This may include performers, crew, venues, merchandise sellers, technicians and engineers, as well as the ‘on stage’ performers.

And it is not limited to music performances. It is a “Live Performance Event”, which presents creative/cultural content and may include but is not limited to music, singing, theatre, opera, dance, comedy or arena event. It does not include sporting, business, private or educational events in this grant scheme.  (Some of those businesses are covered in other Support funds currently being offered)
A Payment of $200 or $500 per event is possible (based on what the fee for the cancelled performance would have been)  with payment for up to 20 gigs (to a maximum of $4,000) possible within the funding round.
The performance will need to have been planned as follows:

  1. To be delivered or performed between May 28 and September 2, 2021;
  2. Live, in-person audience (i.e. not ‘just’ a streamed performance)
  3. Held indoors or outdoors
  4. With an expected audience of at least 75 people or a series of performances over multiple days at the same location with an expected minimum audience of 200 or more. (I am seeking clarification on how this is impacted by density limitations that were in place prior to, and during, the lockdown periods)

This funding also applies for interstate gigs – i.e. Victorians who were meant to ‘cross the border’ and perform or work interstate in the same way, would be eligible for this support grant.
Where costs incurred / claims are between $200 – $500 per gig, then a grant of $200 is applied. For costs of over $500, then a $500 grant is paid.


2. Live Performance Support Program (Presenters) Round Two

In a similar way, there is a support fund for the ‘venues’ that have been impacted by the lockdowns and suffered losses as a result.
The terms and conditions of this grant are similar to the ‘suppliers’ grant, regarding dates, type of performance and estimated attendances. For the Presenters, a funding claim is possible for up to $7,000 for one event, with a further claim for a second event for up to $5,000 also possible.
This grant is also available to performers who were intending to promote their own show as well – i.e. it is not limited ‘just’ to established venues (pubs, clubs, etc)
For this grant, it may be necessary to identify ‘key suppliers’, from whom the presenter intended to receive goods or services, with up to 10 suppliers identified. This of course, could be food and beverage suppliers, performers, venue hire and crew.

Closing date for applications – and estimated payment timelines

The final date (currently) for lodgement of the application is September 8, with payment ‘anticipated’ to occur within 15 days of the closing of applications – so it would be expected to be paid by September 23.
A number of items must be included within the application, and a few background checks on items like ANZSIC codes, ABN, and related registrations must be confirmed before an application is lodged. This reduces the possibility of delay or rejection of the claims.
We can assist you with the process, prepare and lodge the claims on your behalf, and monitor the claim process with Business Victoria after it has been lodged.
If you – or anyone you know – may be eligible for these support funds, please call me on 0409 788 399, or email me at
stuart.smith@fiscalartisans.com.au to discuss your situation and work on your application.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Rock on!

For more information on Fiscal Artisans, please go to our website




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