Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale pictured with owners of The Archie’s Creek Hotel, Mary Howlett and Peter Foley. Archies Creek will be among 106 music venues to benefit from the State Government’s support package.

TWO well-known local music venues, Archie’s Creek Hotel, just outside Wonthaggi, and the Westernport Hotel at San Remo, are set to share in a $9 million State Government initiative to help save the decimated live-music scene.

Member for Bass, Jordan Crugnale announced the “survival grants for local live music venues and new grants to protect music jobs on stage and behind the scenes” on Monday this week.

Ms Crugnale said the latest grants and initiatives will help local music venues, businesses, musicians and other music industry workers get back on their feet and ready for a robust COVID Normal future.

The Archie’s Creek Hotel and Westernport Hotel San Remo are among 106 recipients across the state that will share in grants totalling $9 million through in the first tranche of the Victorian Live Music Venues program.

“We have more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the world and this year has been really tough so by helping them, we support our music workers to bounce back for summer,” Ms Crugnale said.

“From Pakenham to Pound Creek we are oozing with creatives; local musos, songsters, production and road crew, live music venues, recording studios, you name it.”

The program supports venues, with a capacity of 50 to 1200 people, that have a solid reputation for presenting original live music and demonstrate best practice in business operations.

The grants will support these local venues, which have been closed since March, to cover urgent overheads and put COVID-safe measures in place.

They may also assist venues to reopen and host events providing employment opportunities for artists, promoters, technicians and more, offsetting costs while patron caps are in place.

The Westernport Hotel reopened on Friday night for food and beverages, and built up steadily over the weekend, but it will be sometime before they start hosting music events again… but the planning is certainly on track.

Same at Archies Creek.

They’ve developed a partnership with Trulli Woodfire Pizzeria during the lockdown and that will continue on Friday nights but they’re reintroducing the chef from this Thursday, through Friday, Saturday and Sunday for dinners, also lunches on Saturday and Sunday but bookings are highly recommended on 5678 7344 with only 10 allowed inside, and 50 outside.

“It’s weather permitting of course but we had the fires going outside on the weekend and it was really nice,” said one of a trio of publicans at Archies, Mary Howlett.

So, the grubs’ up but it will be a little while until the music is playing again… watch this space.

And the State Government support will certainly help.

Mary’s partner and co-owner of The Archie’s Creek Hotel, Peter Foley was delighted.

“Music survives on an oily rag and it’s heartening to have our State Government recognise the incredible value of live music in our communities. Music is a galvanising force and facilitates connection; when you work in the industry you get to see that first- hand. We can’t wait to get back to it,” he said.

Under Victoria’s roadmaps for reopening, indoor live music venues can reopen at the Last Step with density quotients and patron caps in place. Patron caps will be lifted when the state moves to COVID Normal.

Local musicians, music businesses and music industry workers may also be eligible to apply for grants through the new Victorian Music Industry Recovery program, said Ms Crugnale.

The program offers grants of between $4000 and $50,000 to support artists, managers, promoters, bookers, road crew and other workers to create new music, undertake professional and business development activities and develop new COVID-Safe ways of working.

Recognising that summer is usually a bumper period for the music industry, the program will focus on activities taking place from December onwards. It includes dedicated streams as well. Applications open Monday, 21 September and close Thursday 22 October 2020.

The full list of music venues supported through tranche 1 of the Victorian Live Music Venues program is available at creative.vic.gov.au. Guidelines for the new Victorian Music Industry Recovery program are also available on this site.

Local artists like Imogen Price have had to put their face-to-face, live performances on hold.