Live Music Is Actually Boosting The Australian Economy By A Shitload, New Study Finds

Dear majority-of-politicians, you never seem to listen to us when we try to tell you how important live music is for our cultural identity, our shared sense of community or our country’s artistic prosperity (not to mention our own sanity).

Furthermore, our suggestions that music discourages violence and is actually more popular than sport also seem to fall on the deaf, wingnut ears of the political leadership (here’s looking at you, Tone).

But here’s some news about Australia’s live music scene that might actually register with the backbench: it’s officially making the economy a shitload of money.

According to a new report from the University of Tasmania, the live music sector contributed a voluptuous $15.7 BILLION to Australia’s purse strings in 2014, raking in three times more than what it cost.

Three times.

“Our research shows that for every dollar spent on live music, three dollars of benefit is returned to the wider community,” explains Dr. Dave Carter, Lecturer in Music Technology at Tassie Uni. “This is a significant, and unrecognised, contribution that includes the dollars that flow to the national economy as well as the ways experiencing live music enriches people’s lives”.

According to the research, which was released today by a no doubt fist-pumping Live Music Office, the cashola earned by live Australian music also provides a whole bunch of benefits for the wider community, including creating jobs, generating regional tourism and “contributing to improved health and wellbeing” for individual punters.

The massive study was conducted by correlating the data from a national consumer survey with another survey of venues in Hobart, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.

Among its findings, 65,000 full and part-time jobs are created by money spent on live music, and, because punters are prepared to travel significant distances to go to gigs, live music is a legit money-spinner for regional areas that host killer concerts.

“This research is an important milestone for the Australian live music industry,” said John Wardle, Policy Director at the Live Music Office. “We’ve created a benchmark for governments and the community to understand the importance of live music to Australian culture, community and the economy”.

While it might not do much to impress a government that thinks the average Aussie muso earns a cool $300K a year, or one that removes $104.8 million from the Australia Council’s budget and redirects it to their own new fund, hopefully it might be enough to get some policy-makers to sit up and take notice, and maybe, oh I dunno, do a bit more to stop local venues dropping like Slipknot fans during Spit It Out.

You can check out the full findings of the report via the Live Music Office website.


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