The New South Wales government has announced the Event Saver Fund, which is aimed to financially support the state’s events and festivals community as we’re now into the third year of being impacted by the coronavirus and its ability to change things at the eleventh hour.

At Monday’s state presser, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean revealed that a $43 million fund has been created for events and festivals to be financially supported if they’ve been cancelled or may be affected by changes to public health orders.

“This fund is a $43 million fund that will ensure that we will underwrite sunk costs for the festivals that could be impacted by changes to public health orders,” he said.

According to a statement released during Monday’s presser, organisers of major events will be able to pay their staff, suppliers and recoup other costs involved in planning a festival or event that gets canned or cut short due to things like lockdowns or border closures.

Minister for the Arts Ben Franklin said the funding will give organisers the ability to go all-in on planning events and festivals across the next couple of years without the added stress of shit hitting the fan at the last second.

“Major events provide tremendous social benefits to the community, bringing us together to enjoy live performances,” he said.

“As we look to rebound from the effects of the past two years, this funding will help support local jobs and ensure major event organisers can plan with confidence to safely deliver their events in 2022/23.”

At Monday’s presser, Australian Festivals Association chair Julia Robertson welcomed the Event Saver package, and stressed the industry has been struggling over the last couple of years.

“This package is really great for building confidence,” she said.

“For helping those festivals that have got events coming up — to maintain those festival lineups — but also to those events that have had to be cancelled over the last couple of weeks due to the Omicron variant.

“We will be able to help those events recover some of those costs that they’ve lost. We’ve got a really long way to building that confidence for the festival industry, so thank you.”

NSW’s Event Saver package follows the Victorian government’s announcement of a 12-month, $230 million COVID-19 Event Insurance project. It includes policies to provide a 100 per cent payout if live music, events, or festivals have to be cancelled due to public health orders from the state or Commonwealth government, and a 50 per cent payout if an event is impacted by reduced capacities due to restrictions.

Image: Getty Images / Marc Grimwade