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A New Music Festival Is Coming to Australia From the Creators of Splendour in the Grass

Thanks to a government grant program designed to revitalise Australia's arts and entertainment industry.
By Ben Hansen
November 26, 2020
By Ben Hansen
November 26, 2020

2020 has been a devastating year to cap off a tough decade for arts and entertainment in Australia. The global pandemic that has decimated the industry comes after years of overbearing lockout laws and strict licensing regimes for festivals in NSW. Now, as the industry begins to emerge from the rubble, it's getting some much-needed support from the Federal Government.

The Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund is a government initiative that will invest $75 million into supporting the arts and entertainment sector across the next 12 months. One recipient of the funding is Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival organiser Secret Sounds, who has received funding to put towards launching a new festival in 2021.

Secret Sounds Group Co-CEO Jessica Ducrou didn't give much away about the new venture, telling Concrete Playground, "Secret Sounds is thrilled to receive financial support and recognition for an exciting innovative project we look forward to launching in 2021." The new festival will sit alongside the 2021 edition of Splendour in the Grass, which is currently planned for July with headliners Gorillaz, The Strokes and Tyler, the Creator pending mass gathering and border restrictions. The festival was postponed to 2021 in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal Minister for the Arts Paul Fletcher announced the Victorian recipients of RISE grants on Monday, November 23. Among the Victorian recipients are the Melbourne Theatre Company, which received just over a million for three new Australian works, as well as the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne Fringe and Grande Experiences who recently worked on Sydney's Van Gogh Alive.

Bec Taylor

The full list of recipients is expected next month, but according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, 28 NSW organisations will receive funding. Some of those include Byron Bay's Bluesfest, which is forging ahead with its Easter long weekend event for 2021, the Darlinghurst Theatre Company and the Australian Theatre for Young People.

A new Secret Sounds-run festival will be a welcome addition to 2021 after a year void of major events and music festivals. Summer festival announcements have begun to roll, however, following the easing of gathering restrictions across the country in recent months. So far This That, Untitled Day Party, the newly funded Byron Bay Bluesfest and Yours & Owls have all announced 2021 dates with all-Australian lineups.

A full list of recipients of the RISE grant will be announced mid-December. You can stay up to date at

Top image: Justin Ma

Published on November 26, 2020 by Ben Hansen


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