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A Message from WAM CEO, Mike Harris | 18 September 2020

18 Sep



It is hard to believe that we are almost at the end of September in this very, very strange and impactful year. I’m hoping that as you read, announcements are being made easing restrictions on live music festivals; whilst on the subject of music festivals, I hope everyone has seen the brilliant innovation of Ross McPherson and the Good Day Sunshine Festival in order to deliver an approved event via a revolving stage. Well done all who are associated with that.

I also hope you have seen the earlier announcement where WAM has been promised $350k by the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) to deliver music events over summer. Since April, WAM has secured over $600k – including the funds yet to be used from DPC – that have been or will be distributed to the local music community. We have worked with Celebrate WA to re-instate a streamed SOTA Festival, with Minderoo Foundation to deliver 61 micro-gigs across the state; and, will push the DPC funds into a range of live events in established venues in the new year.

Through this we have supported:

  • around 70 acts across all genres from emerging to established
  • production companies
  • live music venues
  • media outlets
  • freelance producers/managers to undertake project work

I am aware there are some out there whom are critical of WAM receiving funds, but I will respond to say that the vast majority is spread widely across our industry and benefiting as many as possible. While we hope to source more funds, I am proud that there is already at least $600k circulating for the benefit of everyone involved in music in WA. We do, of course, continue to lobby locally and nationally for more direct support for music.

You may have seen we have moved WAMFest, WAMCon and the WA Music Awards into the first quarter of 2021, and will utilise the funding from DPC around the same time. We were not on the view that we could deliver uncompromised events in 2020, with restrictions on music festivals and the WA border closed. More details on all this activity to come soon.

Please take the time to look at the Contemporary Music Fund here in WA, as well as federal funding opportunities with the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund, and Contemporary Music Touring funds (Australia Council) as well as Live Music Australia (Federal Ministry). Look to WAM’s website for these and other funding opportunities, and do contact us if you are not sure what you can apply for or how.

Acknowledging how tough 2020 has been, I hope that we see ongoing easing of restrictions and minimal or no second wave Coronavirus activity that will see us all be able to get back on with our lives unchecked. In the meantime stay safe, continue to support one another and don’t ask for free tickets to gigs!


Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The ArtsGovernment of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Lottery West, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.