Queensland Music Festival warns of funding shortage

The Queensland Music Festival has warned its $1.6 million in state funding will not cover its costs.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the biennial festival has to date delivered musical performances to more than one million people across 100 locations throughout the state and will produce more than 800 live music experiences for the 2019 festival.

Queensland Music Festival chair Dominic McGann said rising costs were making it harder to break even, with the Queensland government’s $1.6 million annual funding no longer covering the core costs of operating the organisation.

“QMF raises project income from a significant number of other sources, but very few opportunities exist for organisations to expand their core funding,” he wrote in a covering letter to the QMF’s annual financial report, addressed to Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch.

Speaking to the Brisbane Times, McGann said the festival is already planning the festival beyond this year and “looks forward to ongoing discussions with the government about its funding”.

The latest financial accounts for 2018 show total retained earnings of $2.60 million in 2018, with the festival planning for a “neutral outcome at the end of 2019”.

Speaking to the Brisbane Times, an Arts Queensland spokeswoman said the festival receives funding from multiple sources including the private sector and sponsorship, but will receive extra sponsorship funding from the Queensland government in 2019 to support events on the festival calendar, including the Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival, The Mount Isa Blast and Help is on its Way.