Event Saver funding welcomed by the industry

Curryfest brings in around $2m to the Coffs economy and was cancelled in 2020 and 2021.


ORGANISERS of major events and festivals that have been cancelled or significantly disrupted by COVID Public Health Orders can apply for funding through the NSW Government’s Event Saver Fund.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the funding was a critical lifeline for major event organisers who have had to cancel, postpone or vary their events, providing them the financial security and certainty to plan and deliver their future events in NSW.

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River Sounds’ Festival Director Ben Lewis told News Of The Area, “The Event Saver Fund is very welcome, but it’s also overdue.

“Major events in NSW have been in a constant state of disruption since Covid first hit in March 2020.

“River Sounds festival has been postponed three times as a result of Covid impacts.

“Each time the event is postponed my business suffers financial losses, as do the artists, event staff, suppliers, contractors and vendors.

“To date, we have refunded over $60,000 in ticket sales, have lost $30,000 in expenses which cannot be recovered, and paid over $70,000 in artists deposits which will be lost if River Sounds gets cancelled.

“The biggest threat to the industry is event cancellations.

“If River Sounds is forced to cancel and or two days out from the event date, the financial losses are significant.

“The Event Saver Fund is different to all of the support grants that have been available to date.

“It covers event organisers for losses which may result from an event being cancelled by a Covid Safety Public Health Order.

“This is fantastic news for the industry.

“The fund is in essence providing insurance to event organisers for event cancellations.”

River Sounds has been rescheduled for August 19-21, 2022.

“Thankfully Baker Boy, Regurgitator and the rest of the amazing line-up have been maintained for the new event dates.

“Plus, the festival has expanded to run over three days instead of two and has an even bigger and better line-up.”

Full details about the new event dates and line-up will be released on February 1.

Keep any eye on the River Sounds website and socials for all the latest news, visit www.riversounds.com.au.

Pam Fayle, Chair of Curryfest in Woolgoolga, told News Of The Area, “Curryfest organisers welcome the major events lifeline funding announced by the NSW government and will be making an expression of interest in case the 2022 event can’t go ahead due to COVID.

“As a community-run festival we have burnt all our provisioned funds in having to cancel the 2020 and 2021 festivals, so it is difficult to plan ahead without this sort of ‘insurance policy’ to back us in committing further funds.

“Curryfest generates significant tourism and delivers over $2million in economic spin offs to the local Coffs economy so we are hoping to qualify for this support and also hoping we don’t need to access it.”

For more information and to apply for funding, please visit www.create.nsw.gov.au.


Ben Lewis, Festival Director River Sounds says Event Saver funding is overdue but very welcome.

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