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Port Phillip Council is offering up to $5000 a week until the end of 2021 to local live music venues and promoters who must cancel gigs due to lockdowns.

The Please Don’t Stop the Music lockdown assistance scheme is part of the Council’s Live Music Action Plan (LMAP) launched today. The support can be used to pay artists and crew who had been booked or for rescheduling costs from now until 31 December.

The Plan also includes a Locals Playing Locals database of local musicians. Council will pay the artist fees for eligible venues engaging musicians from the database until 31 December. Applications open after September 2 when the current restrictions are due to be lifted. A standard rate of $250 per musician is available for each performance and Port Phillip artists are encouraged to register for the database.

Mayor Louise Crawford said Port Phillip believes it is the first Australian council to offer this assistance for the struggling live music industry, aimed at reducing the risk of programming live music during the COVID-19 pandemic.