In one of the more unexpected election commitments, the Liberal and Nationals have announced they will invest $6 million to help bring the biggest names in the music industry to regional areas and look at ways to cut red tape around music festivals.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the new Headline Act Regional Touring Fund would support Australian and international artists to take their shows to the regions.
“When a big name performs under the big skies of regional NSW, it creates a massive boost for the local economy,” Mr Toole said.
“When Elton John played in Bathurst in 2020, 20,000 people turned out and hotels were booked out months in advance.”
“That’s heads on beds and a huge boost to business for local shops, cafes and restaurants.”
“We want to encourage more global names to shine an international spotlight on regional NSW by adding a regional stop to their tour schedule.”
Mr Toole said the fund would support one-off concerts, extensions of tours and help regional festivals secure headline acts.
Minister for Tourism and the Arts Ben Franklin said attracting major performers and performances to regional NSW would inject millions into the NSW economy while supporting local businesses.
“These world-class live music events will bring visitors from across Australia and the world to experience the very best of what regional NSW has to offer. That means booked out hotels, and bustling restaurants, cafes and pubs,” Mr Franklin said.
“This commitment would be an investment in the future that will create more regional jobs, more opportunities across the sector and give regional audiences access to the world’s best performers in their own backyards.”
Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson said they will also review the current Music Festivals Act to cut red tape and streamline approvals for all music festivals across the State.
“Through a dedicated team, we will offer direct support to music festival organisers and will work with industry to identify festival-appropriate sites across regional NSW,” Mr Anderson said.
“We recognise the important role that live music and festivals play in our regional communities.”
“That is why the Liberal and Nationals are committed to ensuring the regulatory environment promotes a vibrant, safe and sustainable sector across the State.”
The review will start in the first year of the next term if the Coalition is re-relected, with the aim of reducing unnecessary red tape and providing greater certainty for the sector into the future.