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Live performances give Novocastrians something to smile about as restrictions ease


Newcastle’s rich cultural scene is set to be reinvigorated with almost 70 live performances being delivered across 18 venues during the next two months with support from City of Newcastle.

 

The newly-opened Newcastle Comedy Club will join venues across the city showcasing the talents of local performers as COVID-19 restrictions ease, encouraging more people to get out and about to experience the thrill of a live show and support the local industry.


Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle is committed to reactivating Newcastle and creating new opportunities for live performances through the Locally Made and Played funding program, as part of support for the COVID-19-disrupted performing arts industry.


“Few industries have been harder hit by the economic impact of the pandemic than the performing arts and hospitality sectors,” Cr Nelmes said.

“With the NSW Government easing COVID-19 restrictions, now is the perfect time to incentivise our city’s venues to host live performances as people start to return with a renewed confidence.


“Due to the current uncertainty for many venues relating to higher COVID-19 case numbers, we have extended the performance timeframe to include April, affording the venues greater flexibility to navigate these challenges.”


Following two successful funding rounds in 2021, the criteria for Locally Made and Played has been broadened to allow a wider variety of venues and performance types including live comedy and micro-theatre.

Venues were invited to apply for up to $1500 to host the live performances, with the funds used to support individual performers and artists at $300 per performance.


Chair of City of Newcastle’s Community and Culture Advisory Committee, Cr Carol Duncan said Newcastle’s embattled live music and cultural scene is set to rebound with the support of the Locally Made and Played grants.


“Live performances funded by the Locally Made and Played grant will apply to performances that take place between 2 March and 30 April 2022, to coincide with the easing of restrictions,” Cr Duncan said.


“The funding will not only provide a boost to local venues financially hit as a result of COVID-19 but will also help support our home-grown talent right here in Newcastle.”


Newcastle Comedy Club part-owner Allan Brady said the New York-style venue is the first dedicated comedy club to open its doors in Newcastle and comes at a critical time.

“Novocastrians are craving a good time at the moment and live comedy is the perfect antidote to beating the COVID-19 blues," Mr Brady said.


“Many local comics and performing artists are relying on venues like ours to remain open to invite them to perform, so the funding comes at a critical time for our industry and performers livelihoods.”

The Locally Made and Played grant program forms part of City of Newcastle’s COVID-19 Community Economic Resilience Program.

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