Live music venues and artists hit high note

Published Wednesday, 05 May, 2021 at 09:30 PM

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

The Palaszczuk Government is providing $1.3 million in funding to 21 live music venues across Queensland, providing an important boost to the sector following the impacts of the pandemic.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch tonight announced new funding for the live music sector at the annual Queensland Music Awards.

“We recognise the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the arts and culture sector, and on indoor live music venues,” Minister Enoch said.

“That is why we have committed to supporting the industry with $22.5 million in funding through the Arts and Cultural Recovery Package.

“As part of this initiative, the Live Music Support Program is providing a further $1.3 million to 21 live music venues in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Gold Coast. This new investment package is in addition to funding we have provided to artists, venues and for music touring, and specifically aims to boost the sustainability of Queensland’s live music venues.”

“The arts are key to delivering our plan for economic recovery, each year contributing $8.5 billion into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 jobs in Queensland,” Minister Enoch said.

“Under the Live Music Support Program, large venues were able to apply for up to $80,000 worth of funding, and smaller venues for up to $60,000, to help offset revenue loss and stabilise their operations.”

Melissa O’Bryan, Entertainment Manager of Solbar in Maroochydore said, “For the last 14 months we’ve been digging deep for new opportunities for artists, for our team and for the music loving community.”

“This funding means we can keep building on these ideas. We have the backing to confidently keep our doors open and to further explore future opportunities for the Sunshine Coast creative community.”

The Minister made the funding announcement at the Queensland Music Awards this evening.

“The Government has worked closely with the live music sector directly and through QMusic, as Queensland’s peak body for the sector, to best help the sector recover and tonight’s Queensland Music Awards acknowledges the importance of a vibrant live music industry,” she said.

Attending the awards to present the $10,000 Billy Thorpe Scholarship with Lynn Thorpe, wife of the late great Queensland rocker Billy Thorpe, Minister Enoch said the Government support will provide a local artist with a recording grant and career planning support through the Scholarship.

“Congratulations to Gold Coast based Beckah Amani, the 2021 Billy Thorpe Scholarship winner who impressed the judges with her incredible voice, mature songwriting, and who in this very competitive category, stood out as a young artist with a great project plan,” Ms Enoch said.

“The judging panel was enthralled with her incredible story and believe that this funding will significantly boost Beckah and her career over the next 12 months.    

“The Queensland Music Awards are an important celebration of the breadth of talent within Queensland’s vibrant and diverse contemporary music industry, recognising our exciting emerging artists and acknowledging the exceptional achievements of the industry,” Ms Enoch said.

2020 winner Harry Phillips said, “Winning the Billy Thorpe Scholarship allowed me the opportunity to work with amazing producers and people I never would have had access to normally.

“The advice I received from Chugg Entertainment was hugely enlightening and helped me to clearly define my own path to success in the music industry,” Harry said.

“Overall the Scholarship helped me turbo boost this stage in my career, and gave me the resources to produce the best music I’ve ever made."

A list of the recipients for the Live Music Support program are available here.

For more information, go to


Media Contact: Pam Frost 0437 859 987

Live Music Venues receiving funding:

  • The Zoo, Fortitude Valley - $60,000
  • Solbar, Maroochydore - $80,000
  • The Tivoli Theatre, Fortitude Valley - $80,000
  • Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns - $80,000
  • Mo’s Desert Clubhouse, Burleigh Heads - $59,329
  • Banshees Bar & Artspace, Ipswich - $43,113
  • Tomcat Bar, Fortitude Valley - $58,500
  • The Triffid, Newstead - $80,000
  • Vinnies Dive, Southport - $60,000
  • Can You Keep A Secret, Woolloongabba - $59,597
  • Dust Temple, Currumbin Waters - $59,750
  • Miami Marketta, Mermaid Beach - $79,000
  • The Bearded Lady, West End - $55,000
  • The Met Hotel, Toowoomba - $38,000
  • NightQuarter, Birtinya - $80,000
  • Fortitude Music Hall, Fortitude Valley - $80,000
  • Woolly Mammoth, Fortitude Valley - $80,000
  • The Junk Bar, Ashgrove - $50,000
  • Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley - $48,000
  • BBQ Bazaar/Burleigh Bazaar, Burleigh Heads - $63,200
  • EC Venue, Fortitude Valley - $43,680