Live music and performance

Live music and performance

Boosting Sydney's live entertainment

We're supporting Sydney's live music and performance sector with nearly 60 recommendations in the City of Sydney's Live Music and Performance Action Plan to boost live entertainment across the local area. Already, we have started work to:

As more of these plans become City programs we will update you in our Creative City Sydney monthly newsletter and will publish more information on this web page. Sign up to be the first to hear about these City projects.

The City's taskforce

Our action plan was the result of Council's unanimous support for the City to set up a live music and performance taskforce made up of industry experts and leaders to advise the City on actions we could take to increase Sydney's live music and performance culture.

The taskforce's advice included considering our own areas of influence as well as advocating to reform state and federal government legislation and processes that affect the live music and performance industry.

During our public consultation process (see gallery below) 95% of submissions from local residents, business and industry groups supported live music and performance.

The state of play: live music and performance

For many years Sydney enjoyed an unparalleled reputation for extraordinary live performers and bands that played on international stages. This reputation was forged due to more venues where artists could hone their skills in front of live audiences. 

Since the 1990s, increased regulatory pressure combined with poker machines being introduced in hotels, contributed to many venues replacing live music and performance spaces. Competition for entertainment budgets increased further with sport events broadcasts moving from weekend afternoons to night-time slots alongside 24-hour sports coverage on large television screens.

Australian industry facts

  • Small to medium-scale venue-based live music generated $1.21 billion revenues during the 2009/10 financial year.
  • In 2012, the live performance industry generated $2.55 billion revenues, industry added value of $1.5 billion and employed 34,131 positions.
  • Overall, live performance and venue-based live music supports approximately 14,900 full-time equivalent jobs.
  • NSW is the largest state contributor to venue-based live music and live performance comprising 32% and 38% industry output, respectively.
  • Our 2011 study found the current regulatory environment was the biggest barrier to own/operate a live music venue (69.1%).

Last updated: Monday, 17 November 2014