October 2020 Festival Industry News Wrap-up

Author: Carlina Ericson, Founder & Event Director of Australian Festival Industry Conference

Published: 2 November 2020  

Happy Monday everyone! As we conclude yet another month, I’ve decided to publish a monthly ‘wrap-up’ that takes a look back at the key industry developments over the previous month, as well as list out current news/grants/vacancies, along with a top level overview of what’s planned for the 2020/2021 summer period. 

Links to all of the info below can be found via the Australian Festival Industry Conference’s website under its ‘Useful-Resources’ section – australianfestivalconference.com.au/useful-resources/

If you have some news, vacancies, tenders, Guidelines, etc, that you’d like to share, please e-mail me at [email protected]

National News

  • Details of the $250m lifeline announced by the Federal Government in June are still yet to be revealed. According to ArtsHub, “Public servants in Senate Estimates also confirmed no grants had yet been approved under the $75 million RISE fund and the guidelines had not yet even been settled for the $90 million concessional loans scheme”.
  • The Australian Event Awards (AEAs) were held on 21 October. Among the winners were Splendour in the Grass, Perth Festival’s Highway To Hell tribute to Bon Scott, Jessica Ducrou, Adelaide Fringe, and many more! The Australian Festival Industry Conference came in as a National Finalist for Best Achievement in Event Education & Training. The AEA’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Harvey Lister, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) chairman and CEO of ASM Global APAC
  • Moonlight Cinema celebrates its 25th birthday this November as it returns to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide (November 2020 – April 2021)
  • Sydney Festival’s Travelling Film Festival is now live and will visit 16 locations across NSW, QLD, and NT
  • Zaccaria Concerts & Touring have released its Summersalt Festival 2021 dates. It’ll visit Adelaide, Darwin, Canberra, Sydney, Hobart and Wollongong

National Grants

  • Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants – closes 20 November 2020
  • Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – closes 31 May 2021

Useful Articles from October

  • LEIF publishes national Covid-safe Guidelines
  • How Darwin Festival beat the Covid-odds?
  • How international music festivals have survived corona virus?
  • Australian promoters call for Government insurance scheme to get music festivals going during coron-avirus
  • Why festivals can insure against terror attacks but not pandemics?


  • Guidelines: <500 people can attend seated outdoor music performances over the summer. Everyone there will need to check-in electronically. Physical distancing still applies, stay 1.5m from others. If that isn’t possible, a face mask is advised
  • Great Southern Nights is running for the duration of November & features 2,500+ artists playing at 300+ live music venues. Tickets for the festival’s 900+ gigs now on sale
  • Sydney Opera House is reopening its doors with a program of unmissable live events starting from today (2 November 2020). Antidote – the Opera House’s annual festival of action, ideas and change – will return next month, bringing together thought-leaders from around the world to reflect on 2020
  • Funding: Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund – closes 11 December 2020


  • The Gold Coast has launched its inaugural Feedback Festival. From 3 – 13 December, the Festival will highlight 50+ local artists across 10 venues, amounting to over 100 hours of live music
  • Funding: round 2 of the Queensland Destination Events Grants Program – closes February 2021


  • Industry Survey: 2021- 2025 creative industries strategy. All people who work in Victoria’s creative industries are encouraged to contribute to the development of the 2021- 2025 creative industries strategy by completing an online survey. Link via AFIC’s Useful Resources page
  • The #savevicevents campaign is now live. It encourages participants to share its campaign video with local MPs and the Minister – savevictorianevents.good.do/acttoday
  • Hillsong Church as purchased Melbourne’s iconic Festival Hall for $23 million. It was built in 1915 and has a capacity of more than 5,000
  • Job Vacancy: Senior Production Manager, RISING Festival – closes 6 November


  • South Australia has been voted the nation’s Best Event State in the 2020 Australian Event Award for a third time!
  • Adelaide Fringe 2021 registrations close on 4 November 2020. South Australian artists can apply to share in $500,000 of grants. The grants will be distributed in tiers of $5,000 and $10,000, and are made possible by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet through Arts South Australia. Adelaide Fringe will run from 19 February until 21 March.
  • Job Vacancy: Production Coordinator, Adelaide Fringe Festival – closes 8 November
  • EOI’s for Production Crew, Adelaide Festival – close 6 November


  • Funding: Regional Events Scheme – closes 1 December 2020


Funding is now available via the Northern Territory Major Events Company.

  • Community Event Funding – closes 27 November 2020
  • Event Development Funding – closes 27 November 2020


  • Border Restrictions: Subject to ongoing Public Heath advice, NSW will be classified as a low risk area from Friday 6th of November. Passengers arriving from NSW will not need to quarantine effective from that date
  • Guidelines: ‘A Framework for Covid-safe Events’ has been released by the TAS Government. The new Guidelines will come into effect from 1 December 2020
  • Funding: Event Infrastructure and Critical Support Small Business Grant program – closes 13 November 2020
  • Funding: Events Tasmania Event Ready Grant Program – closes 15 November 2020

Links to all of the info below can be found via the Australian Festival Industry Conference’s website under its ‘Useful-Resources’ section – australianfestivalconference.com.au/useful-resources/

If you have some news, vacancies, tenders, Guidelines, etc, that you’d like to share, please e-mail me at [email protected] 

Did you like this article? Keen to stay abreast of key industry developments?  Why not consider attending thew Australian Festival Industry Conference in 2021 – to be kept informed of event updates, subscribe here.

#AFIC2020 #AFIC2021 #Australianfestivals #Austfestnews #AFICnews #festivalgrants #festivalopportunities #australianfestivalindustry #industry #conference #Wemakeevents #savevicevents

About the author: Carlina Ericson is the founder and event director of the Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) – www.australianfestivalconference.com.au. She is also the director of Australian Festival Consulting Pty Ltd, a consultancy that offers content, event management and destination services to festivals and tourism businesses.