Fresh support for live music and performances

Posted .

A host of live music and performance venues and small businesses across the city are set to expand their night-time offerings thanks to more than $225,000 in grant funding from the City of Sydney.

The City's business support grants program will give venues including the Metro Theatre, Eau de Vie and MoshPit matched grants to launch new night-time activities or upgrade their acoustics, staging and equipment.

A further three projects that will help Sydney's electronic, contemporary and live music industries build their capacity will also get a boost from City funding worth more than $110,000.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the funding was part of the City's ongoing efforts to revitalise Sydney's night-time economy.

"Sydneysiders want a diverse and exciting nightlife with events and activities for people of all ages and interests - they don't want their city to shut down as soon as the sun goes down," the Lord Mayor said.

"Our grants program is one way that we are able to directly support small businesses and live music venues who want to put on more music and arts programming for our residents and visitors.

"This gives venues and businesses a boost so they can do much-needed equipment upgrades or make a commitment to regular programming - which is a better outcome for artists and audiences alike.

"We're also investing in the industry by supporting the Electronic Music Conference, Sydney Venue Toolkit and the Contemporary Music Toolkit - continuing to strengthen the night-time and live music ecosystem."

Ontoitmedia staff. Left to right: Chelsea Deeley, Ben Briedis, Chris Johnson, Brooke Olsen and Maddy Stirton.

Projects that will benefit from the matched grant funding include:

  • a new, soundproofed performance space with capacity for 350 people within the Metro Theatre on George Street in the city centre, to operate in tandem with the existing theatre
  • venue upgrades and new equipment for a new program of live music and performances by local artists at Eau de Vie in Darlinghurst
  • upgrades to staging, lighting and in-house musical instruments at Staves Brewery in Glebe and a new 'after midnight' music performance program
  • new staging, audio and lighting equipment to improve the performance space and boost capacity at MoshPit in Erskineville
  • new equipment to improve the sound quality for weekly free jazz and jam sessions at Moya's Juniper Lounge in Redfern
  • audio and lighting equipment upgrades to improve the experience of artists and audiences at Griffin Theatre Company in Darlinghurst and Mercantile Hotel in The Rocks
  • audio and lighting upgrades at Oxford Art Factory in Darlinghurst and a bigger monthly series of 'after midnight' music events following mainstage performances
  • a regular program of family-friendly comedy and performance nights at Cheers Bar on George Street in the city centre
  • a new program of jazz, roots, funk and world music performances on Sundays at Venue 505 in Surry Hills
  • a late-night program of jazz performances and dining options on Fridays at Foundry 616 in Ultimo
  • a live music program at new venue Boogie Mountain at the Potts Point Hotel
  • a weekly session of paid performances by local buskers at the Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills
  • a program of night-time coffee appreciation activities at Di Bartoli Specialty Coffee in Rosebery.

Sam Nardo, chief operating officer, Century Venues (which runs The Metro) said: "We have been wanting to create a second space at The Metro Theatre for some time. Now, thanks to the City Of Sydney we will be able to dive in head first and create what we know is a sorely needed space in the Sydney music and entertainment scene.

"We will be utilising the funds to upgrade production, upgrade the amenities and sound proof the new 300+ capacity space so that it can operate independently and concurrently to The Metro's main theatre.

"This is such a welcome contribution and is a real tipping point in getting this project off the ground - we can't wait to get started."

The business support grants add to new funding for three projects designed to support Sydney's music industry:

  • $70,000 cash and value-in-kind support over two years for the Electronic Music Conference, an annual week of events and activities for electronic music industry professionals
  • $26,000 for Sydney Venue Toolkit, a new website created by Ontoitmedia, to help artists, curators and other industry professionals improve and increase the number of live music and performance venues across the city
  • $18,000 for the Contemporary Music Roundtable, an annual national conference held at Erskineville Town Hall where industry professionals can increase their knowledge of Australian music and boost public engagement.

Ontoitmedia director, Chris Johnson said: "Ontoitmedia is thrilled with the City of Sydney's support of our new Sydney Venue Toolkit - an interactive website and e-learning portal to empower venue operators, curators, bookers and artists to program and promote more live performance and events across our great city.

"The City of Sydney Council's backing will help gather existing insight from the live performance, music, arts, government and hospitality sectors, and share this expertise through a practical toolkit to give Sydney's live arts and nighttime economy the boost it deserves."

For more information on the City's grants and sponsorships, visit: cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/grants-and-sponsorships

For media inquiries or images, contact Elaine Kelly, Senior Media Advisor on 0477 362 550 or email ekelly@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Julia Lenton. Phone 0410 748 039 or email jlenton@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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