Melbourne's Live Music Venues Appeal for Government Aid Amid Insurance Crisis

Published February 8, 2024

Live music venues in Melbourne are in a bind due to soaring insurance premiums, causing many to impose restrictive conditions, like prohibiting dancing with drinks, or shutting down entirely. Venues warn that without government intervention, the vibrant local music scene could suffer irreparable damage.

Appeal for Local Council Support

The Yarra City Council is set to discuss potential measures to make insurance more affordable for nightlife hotspots in areas like Collingwood and Fitzroy. These venues are a cultural staple and contribute significantly to the city's economy, and the council may soon advocate for better insurance solutions.

State Government Urged to Step In

Music venues hope the state government will lend a hand by using its insurer to provide them with reasonable insurance rates. The steep increases have already forced some venues to close temporarily, and others fear they won't be far behind if the rates continue to rise. The Old Bar in Fitzroy, for example, has experienced a jump from $10,000 to $60,000 in yearly premiums.

The Cultural and Economic Impact

These music venues are more than entertainment centers; they are part of Melbourne's cultural identity and a source of employment for local communities. As insurance rates climb, venues may be unable to sustain the live music that is at the heart of Yarra's culture.

The Wider Insurance Issue in the Music Industry

The insurance problem isn't new to Melbourne's live music venues, but the situation has become critical. Music Victoria and the Australian Live Music Business Council (ALMBC) are advocating for government support, yet there are concerns about setting precedents for other industries. Nonetheless, the call for action highlights the urgent need to prevent the collapse of the live music scene due to financial pressure from insurance costs.

Government's Position

While the Victorian Minister for Creative Industries did not comment directly on whether the state would offer insurance, he did acknowledge the importance of live music venues. At the federal level, insurance regulation is the key, which leaves the state seeking alternative solutions to preserve its local music hubs.

music, venues, insurance