Live Music

NSW Government aims to protect future of live music venues with audit

Featured Image: Pexels from Pixabay

The New South Wales (NSW) Government is set to conduct a survey to ascertain the challenges currently facing musicians, artists and venue operators to help build a thriving music scene across the Australian state.

It will be the first time the NSW Government has conducted a survey of this sort to ask artists and professionals working in the music industry, in a bid to build a picture of the current state of the sector.

Over the last decade, NSW has lost half of its live music venues, with just 137 remaining according to current Liquor and Gaming data. The government is aiming to ensure the survival of the remaining venues and recently established Sound NSW – a dedicated office committed to the growth, development and promotion of contemporary music in the state.

“The NSW Government is committed to reviving live music across New South Wales,” said Minister for Music, John Graham. “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.”

Participants in the survey will be asked to assess the strengths of the industry, as well as the factors that may be prohibiting growth – from noise restrictions, venue closures, the COVID-19 pandemic through to cost-of-living pressures.

The survey will form part of a wider project that will also combine economic analysis, venue mapping data and audience research to inform the NSW Government’s first strategic policy for contemporary music.

Artists, managers, promoters, venue operators, roadies, audio engineers, lighting and technical teams, and ticket and merchandise retailers have been encouraged to offer feedback.

“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,” added Acting Head of Sound NSW, Emily Collins.

“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.”