Grants bring boost for music, sport and culture across city

26 July 2018

Festival lovers will be spoilt for choice with rock, classical music and comedy events all receiving support from Newcastle City Council's annual Event Sponsorship Program.

Council received 77 applications across five sponsorship categories, and has determined 34 events spanning music, cultural fare, sport and charity will share in nearly a quarter of a million dollars from round one of the program for 2018/19.

Supported by a $10,000 sponsorship, the third annual Newcastle Music Festival will feature more than 350 performers across 35 events in multiple locations around the city from 2-19 August.

The innovative format for the 2018 event features performers-in-residence and 'Music on a Plate' – a lunchtime fusion of food with contemporary and world music at iconic cafes and restaurants around Newcastle.

"I want to congratulate all of our successful events and organisers," said Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, who presented cheques to recipients at an event today at Newcastle City Hall.

"The quality and variety of the applications received for this funding each year is quite remarkable," she said. "I am always impressed by the many fantastic events showcasing our city, big and small, new and well established."

"The Newcastle Music Festival has seen great success in its first two years, and promises another feast of great music, across many styles and traditions, with brilliant local musicians sharing the stage with inspiring guests."

Newcastle Music Festival Secretary Ross Fiddes said that "Council has clearly shown a true appreciation of where the Festival is headed, and has provided both financial support and resources to support us."

"The Festival has very quickly become one of the largest events of its kind in NSW, if not Australia," he said. "Our recognition and reputation across Australia and internationally is growing and we intend to make NMF a tourist cultural destination."

"Bravo to the Council for this and our sincere gratitude."

The brand-new Rock this City festival received a $15,000 sponsorship to celebrate the journey and significance of local rock music.

Over two days in March 2019, pop-up stages will showcase the history of live music in Newcastle, featuring bands from the early days of pub rock up to, and including, current and emerging artists.

Another new event, the Newcastle City Festival, will celebrate music, art and food in the inner city with a $15,000 sponsorship from Council.

"This inspiring community-based autumn festival will bring people together and showcase the unique offering of our diverse local retailers, restaurateurs and artisans," said organiser Tim McPhee.

The Newcastle Comedy Festival also received $15,000 to organise Newcastle's first-ever comedy festival at a range of venues in the city on 24-27 May 2019.

Events sponsorship also included:

  • Australian Bowl-riding Championships - $15,000. National skateboard competition at Empire Park 9-10 February 2019.
  • Newcastle's Celebration of Cricket - $10,000. Two major junior cricket carnivals with participants from across NSW in January 2019.
  • Wallsend Winter Fair - $15,000. Wallsend will host its 33rd annual winter fair on 12 August 2018.
  • Back in Time Pop Culture Festival - $10,000. A celebration of all things pop culture from the 80s, including live music, food stalls and more, 21 October 2018.
  • Pop-Up Cultural Showcase Series - $5,000. Three pop-up events at Fletcher, Wallsend and Elermore Vale to showcase cultural groups in the community, March 2019.
  • Newcastle Pride Festival - $4.500. Newcastle’s first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersex (LGBTI) Pride Festival, 24-26 August 2018.
  • Newcastle Unity in Diversity Festival - $3,000. A festival to celebrate the cultural diversity of Newcastle in the spirit of inclusiveness and welcome, 23 June 2019.

This year's events and funding break down into the following categories:

• Community Events - 15 events sponsored, total budget $50,000;
• Major Community Events - 11 events sponsored, total budget $120,000;
• Destination Events - 1 event sponsored, total budget $20,000;
• Commercial Events - three events sponsored, total budget $35,000; and
• Business Events - four events sponsored, total budget of $18,000.