Wollongong’s music scene has received a financial boost from a NSW Government support package aimed at reviving live music across the state.
Jobs, Investment and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres revealed the funding in late May, with Anita’s Theatre, Diamond Dogs Lounge, La La La’s, Servo Food Truck Bar, UniBar and the Vault Entertainment Value all benefiting from the scheme.
La La La’s operations manager Grace Stranger said the injection of funds was a welcome relief, but claimed no amount of funding would cover the damage inflicted by the pandemic.
“We’re looking at getting some new heaters, better lighting in the venue and updating our green room so artists feel more comfortable when they come to perform at our venue, generally making the vibe of the place a little bit more welcoming,” Ms Stranger said
“It’s pretty hard to cover all the damage faced during Covid, the music scene got hit pretty hard, not just venues but artists performing as well.
“It does definitely help us, but there’s still a long way to go.”
The government scheme is expected to increase social and economic value to live music venues during the pandemic.
Diamond Dogs Music Lounge and Bar owner Neil Townsend believes more should be done as live music contributes greatly to our economy.
“Entertainment and arts keep a lot of things running; if you’ve got people coming for music they’re going to go to restaurants nearby, they’re going to stay at accommodation nearby, they’re going to spend money at retail shops nearby, so we’re a huge part of how the economy works,” Mr Townsend said.
“But I do think more should be more done.”
The lifeline thrown by the government aims to alleviate the live music scene’s low turnover caused by capacity restrictions and the ever changing circumstances caused by the pandemic.
“The NSW government has always been not exactly overwhelmingly supportive to the arts, but what they do will definitely helps us get back on our feet,” Ms Stranger said.