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NSW Government to conduct its first live music audit

NSW Government to conduct its first live music audit
November 7, 2023

For the first time, the NSW Government will conduct a survey of artists and professionals working in the music industry aiming to understand the challenges faced and what can be done to strengthen the live music scene.

NSW has lost half its live music venues over the past decade, with just 137 remaining, according to current Liquor and Gaming data.

As part of the music revival, the government will seek to ensure the survival of these venues as the recently established Sound NSW begins its work with the live music industry.

Launching during Australian Music Month, participants will be asked to assess the strengths of the industry as well as the factors that might be holding the industry back, from noise restrictions, venue closures, COVID-19 and cost of living pressures.

The survey forms part of a wider research project that will combine economic analysis, venue mapping data and audience research to inform the NSW Government’s first ever strategic policy for contemporary music and create a vision for a vibrant arts and cultural scene in NSW.

The survey is completely anonymous, with no personal information collected.

The data will lead the decision-making process to revolutionise the live music industry in the state and spearhead new policy that centres on supporting and invigorating NSW’s music scene.

People working in the industry are strongly encouraged to provide insights, including artists, managers, promoters, venue operators, roadies, audio engineers, lighting and technical teams, ticket and merchandise retailers and more. This feedback will shape policy decisions and have a direct impact on the future of the sector.

NSW Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy John Graham notes “The NSW Government is committed to reviving live music across NSW.

“The last decade of lockouts and lockdowns has led to a grassroots music venue crisis in this state. We know the live music sector is facing many challenges, and this research will help identify from firsthand experience of musicians and industry participants themselves what those challenges are.

“From artists and music workers to record labels, promoters, and managers, if you work in music, we want to hear from you. This consultative research will help us tune in to the policy priorities that will restore live music in NSW.

“I encourage all music industry professionals to share their ideas and insights to help us put together an evidence-based strategy for the future.” 

Acting Head of Sound NSW, Emily Collins added "Sound NSW’s mission is to see a new era when NSW’s musicians, live music venues and festivals can thrive, creating greater job opportunities, injecting vibrancy to our state, and exporting NSW-grown music across Australia and to the world.

“The data and insights from the Live Music Survey will help us better understand and support venues.”

“Following the launch of the NSW Arts, Culture and Creative Industries policy later this year, Sound NSW will develop and deliver the state’s first-ever 10-year contemporary music strategy. Just as Screen NSW does for film and TV, this is about bringing a cohesive and coherent government approach to growing the sector."

Participate in State of the Scene – Live Music Survey. The survey will be open until 15th January 2024. 

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