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Adelaide music report calls for education and audience development

Adelaide music report calls for education and audience development
November 24, 2013

A new report on the Adelaide live music scene has argued for greater music education while stripping away barriers to the contemporary industry.

The final edition of Adelaide's 'Thinkers' program was carried in conjunction with the Don Dunstan Foundation and enlisted WOMAD co-founder and Glastonbury booker Martin Elbourne to analyse the city's music scene.

Released at the beginning of November after being presented to the South Australian Government, the report carries 49 recommendations across education, audience development, sector growth and the development of industry jobs.

Following similar investigations by 'Raise The Bar' and 'Renew Adelaide' through the South Australia Government, the report also emerges a week after the City of Sydney's Live Music Taskforce delivered their detailed findings.

In the report, Elbourne explains "there is much passion and energy within the contemporary music community of South Australia.

"It appears, however, that it has not always been able to be channelled into a positive, forward direction that maximises outcomes for all involved."

A large part of the report focuses on education, from equipping primary school teachers to deliver better music classes to merging TAFE music courses into the Adelaide College 0f The Arts. It calls for better education for artists for online distribution and high-level training for career artists.

Peak body Music SA needs help, the report says, and it recommends the creation of the South Australian Contemporary Music Advisory Council (SACMAC). With a representative from Music SA, SACMAC will be populated by individuals from the private, government and non-profit sectors to develop strategies for the industry and champion the local scene.

Elbourne also recommends subsidies for all age shows and the creation of a comprehensive gig guide.

The report also argues that the word 'entertainment' be removed from South Australia's Liquor Licensing Act, as it can result in conditions on the type of entertainment venues can hold; 'acoustic only' or 'no metal' for example.

Recently South Australia Greens member Tammy Franks brought a review of the act to the South Australia Government with the aim of having the entertainment consents reviewed, but the review was knocked back and the clauses remain.

Now Franks' rmove now has the support of the Elbourne report, as well as the previous Raise The Bar recommendations.

The Elbourne report is also critical of the 2013 Small Venue Licence amendment to the Act, which was designed to give further opportunities to venues with capacities of under 120 people.

It reads "this legislation certainly opens the door for new and different bars and for some level of entertainment in these bars.

"The emphasis of businesses operating under this provision, however, is likely to be more related to the bar patrons than live music followers.

"Venues that have a high emphasis on live music as their business need to have more than 120 patrons on an ongoing basis to make the venue viable through ticket sales."

Dr Ianto Ware, Co-Director of Sounds Australia's National Live Music Office, has been a key music advocate in South Australian and told "it's been good to see a number of policy makers following the City of Sydney's lead in taking an interest in their local music scenes.

"In the last six months we've seen Wollongong, Leichhardt, Marrickville (each in New South Wales) and Melbourne announce similar initiatives, and I'm told the Lord Mayor of Perth has flagged an interest as well.

"In the past we've seen some projects disappear into feel good statements about 'vibrancy' and place making, but particularly after the Sydney report we're starting to see reviews of regulation that are more about removing barriers and enabling people to make their own culture. Ultimately the Sydney report is the benchmark. Many of regulatory hurdles it identifies impact on all small businesses. I can see it setting a template that'll be followed nationally not just for the music sector, but for other industries driven by small and medium enterprises."

Key recommendations of the report are:

• Creation of the South Australian Contemporary Music Advisory Council;

• Better music curriculum in primary and tertiary schools;

• Establish a Creative Entrepreneur Award for contemporary music;

• Designate a section of Adelaide as a Central Cultural And Entertainment District;

• Venue owners to form an association;

• Develop Port Adelaide as a live music destination;

• Develop a regional live music circuit around the Barossa;

• 'One stop shop' for licensing and development applications

• Amend the Liquor Licensing Act to encourage medium-sized venues

Click here to read the report.


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