Gig cash announced

By Thomas Moir

A $40000 contribution has been put forward as an offer to would-be organisers of a large-scale music festival event in Shepparton for next year.

It is a dollar figure Greater Shepparton City Council is describing as a starting point and one it believes will prove a competitive sponsorship package.

The council has put the call out for parties interested in building an ‘‘iconic’’ annual music festival for the city with an initial proposed 3000 to 5000 capacity.

Shepparton Showgrounds and Victoria Park Lake have been flagged as key venue options.

The $40000 funding will be split between the council’s and Shepparton Show Me’s budget; with a $20000 contribution from each party.

Under the plan, the operator would run the festival and shoulder all risk associated.

The aim is for an operator, selected from an expressions of interest process, to be chosen in August, before an event in the first half of next year.

Creative decisions, such as music genre, will largely be left up to operators to determine and pitch to council.

Initially, a two-year agreement is being sought, with the possibility of a third year as an extension, subject to key performance indicators being met.

The council’s economic development manager Anthony Nicolaci said the $40000 sponsorship figure was developed around research on the music festival marketplace.

He believed the figure sat ‘‘where we can be competitive enough to be able to attract an operator to (hold) an event in Shepparton’’.

He pointed to in-kind support, including various assets and infrastructure owned by council and Shepparton Show Me, available as part of the offer.

‘‘We will consider added requests for support depending on music genre, acts proposed,’’ he said.

‘‘This is a still a competitive sponsorship package.’’

Mr Nicolaci said any event would ultimately have to be commercially viable and need to develop relevant to its own income streams, describing the council funding as an incentive to come to Shepparton, ‘‘to run your event and develop an event this region is asking for,’’ he said.

Mr Nicolaci said the council wanted to be proactive in this space, and described the process as a starting point to ‘‘something great for businesses in Greater Shepparton’’.

He said running music festivals with thousands of attendees was not the core business of council, and that it instead wanted to work to develop a partnership for mutual benefit, including ‘‘building the livability of the city’’.

Mr Nicolaci said broadening the city’s events calendar into arts, culture, food and music would increase its profile.

‘‘We’ve got lots of different infrastructure projects, we’re seeing the city grow,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s balancing that with activities and events.

‘‘It’s only going to attract more to come live in Shepparton and ensure more youth stay in Shepparton.’’