A new report commissioned by contemporary music advocacy group Music Victoria has found that the regional live music scene in the state contributes $27.62 million to the Victorian economy annually, with 37 percent of venue owners reporting an increase in punters in the past 12 months.
In addition to the findings, the Regional Victoria Live Music Census 2013 also contains several suggestions to benefit the state’s regional music scene, with most centred on easing of regulations, including relaxing of liquor licensing laws and noise limits, as well as improved nighttime transport.
“The report demonstrates the value of live music activity to the regional economy and its importance in job creation,” report author and Country Music Association Of Australia President Dobe Newton told The Music, stressing the harsh and often detrimental impact of the state regulatory system.
Writing for The Music, Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan said, “When venue owners were also asked about problems preventing them carrying out business, the majority companied that they were impacted by regulatory issues: 74% licensing, 56% noise, 33% zoning, parking and development. 50% of those citing issues, reported that their impact had ‘increased’ during the last year.”
Among the report’s key recommendations is the amelioration of the all-ages live scene, which in the past has been hindered by strict liquor licensing laws and was reportedly set to be addressed by a series of state government reforms, including fast-track applications for low-risk underage events.
Other recommendations include the implementation on a Regional Live Music Plan, which would include the establishment of a dedicated regional live music office to serve as a nucleus for building relationships and liaising between musicians, venues, and industry, including promoters and agents.