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Australian Live Music Business Council appoints inaugural Executive General Manager

Australian Live Music Business Council appoints inaugural Executive General Manager
October 26, 2020

Recently formed advocacy group the Australian Live Music Business Council (ALMBC) has announced the appointment of Craig Spann as its inaugural Executive General Manager.

Established in July to provide a voice for all levels of the live sector, the Council represents agents, venues and small promoters through to ticketing companies, poster companies, media, publicists, food vendors, security, music technicians, crew and other sector stakeholders.

Spann’s background in the past 20 years has been government and business relations, media and communications, music policy development and strategic planning - working with Virgin Australia, AMIN, QMusic and News Corp.

Commenting on the challenges faced by the group, Spann stated “the live music industry has always been innovative and resilient, but 2020 has challenged our industry like never before.

“Now is the time to unite and use the collective strength of our voices to ensure the survival of our industry and be ready for a strong recovery.”

Having quickly gained 500 company members, the ALMBC has also confirmed its inaugural board with Select Music agency’s Stephen Wade moving from interim to permanent Chairman.

Others on the board are Sharlene Harris (ALH), Brian Chaldil (OzTix/Media Rare), Sophie Kirov (Lost Motel/Badlands), Christina Allen (Seamlaas), Nicholas Greco (Untitled), Phaedra Watts (Nannup Music Festival), Emily York (Penny Drop), Ross Macpherson (Macro Music), Jess Mizrahi (Deloitte Access Economics) and Haydn Johnston (Architects of Entertainment).

Aiming to lobby and educate politicians, officials and the business community that its requirements are different from most sectors, and has a different path to post COVID-19 recovery, the ALMBC is already working on two agenda-setting initiatives.

It is holding discussions with First Nations organisations and community leaders to nominate a representative to its board.

As Wade advises “we want to get this right and will continue to listen to First Nations people within our industry to make sure representation at a board level, along with ALMBCs broader activities, is led by First Nations voices and meet the needs of the community.

“Finalising the makeup of this board has been a detailed process to ensure it reflects the real-world experience of our industry and acknowledges the diversity of people and business across the country.”

It is also developing a range of resources and services aimed specifically at supporting live music get back on its feet.

One is the National Gig-Ready Dashboard, which provides the industry with up-to-date information on COVID restrictions impacting live music in all states and territories.

The data is available for the industry to use for free on its website, with an interactive version currently in development to launch “soon”.

Under Wade’s early leadership, the ALMBC has held meetings with the Federal Government, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, along with opposition and leaders.

A recent survey of ALMBC member showed that 70% of live sector businesses face closure within six months without further immediate action from governments and 73% of members reporting a revenue downturn of over 75%.

Images: Craig Spann (top) and Stephen Wade (below).

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12th August 2020 - Australia’s Chief Medical Officer says ‘high risk’ live music events are still a long way off

11th August 2020 - Federal Government announces guidelines on live music restart funding

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24th March 2019 - Refurbished Fremantle Hall reopens as live music and performing arts venue

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28th September 2018 - Global study reveals the importance of live music in escaping digital overload

5th September 2018 - Live Nation backs new Brisbane live music venue

17th August 2018 - AEG Presents appoints new Senior Vice President Live Music International position

23rd July 2018 - Review to assess future Live Music Office operations

12th April 2018 - Study shows Melbourne as live music capital of the world

18th October 2017 - New $40 million live music venue planned for central Brisbane

1st June 2017 - Music Victoria releases 10 Point Plan for live music

25th August 2015 - Australian Music Week to be a five-day celebration of live music

14th August 2015 - Adelaide study shows 157 venues hosted live music events in May

13th August 2015 - Live Music worth over $15 billion to Australia in 2014

14th February 2015 - Campaign group reveals rebuffed attempts to save Melbourne’s Palace Theatre for live music

24th September 2014 - Uncertainty surrounds Gold Coast’s live music scene

6th August 2014 - Victorian Government to deliver live music reforms

2nd June 2014 - Live Music Strategy to make Melbourne the ‘music capital of Australia’

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