In October 2012 we started to formally investigate why live music and performance in Sydney have been under so much pressure. Working with 11 people with robust music policy experience, we took a confronting look at the current situation and are will be implementing an ambitious strategy – called the Live Music and Performance Action Plan – which sets out our commitment to live music and performance over the next five years.
From November 2013 to January this year, the plan was on exhibition to the public – asking you to respond. More than 120 people shared their thoughts with us, and the overwhelming majority of (a huge 95%) local residents, businesses, city visitors and industry groups that responded strongly supported the City taking action in support of live music and performance.
This April, Council unanimously agreed to implement the City of Sydney Live Music and Performance Action Plan.
One of the primary goals of the plan is to make it easier for venues to operate – so we specifically looked at the issues around development controls and noise, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and liquor licensing. We also looked at a range of projects to promote audience and sector development, including transport, availability of opportunities for all-ages venues and rehearsal spaces, visa requirements and more.
Keep an eye out next month to to find out how the action plan will be rolled out, but here is a preview of what we’re planning:
- Developing a pre-lodgement process to help artists hold performances in non-traditional spaces, covering building approvals, planning permissions, health and compliance requirements and advice from cultural staff
- Providing affordable space in our properties for start-ups that support the local live music and performance sector, including instrument makers, costume designers and independent record sellers
- Supporting the Australian pilot of a ‘gig buddies’ program which pairs people living with a disability with local music enthusiasts to make it easier for them to attend live shows
- Ensuring parking controls around live music and performance venues take into account the needs of patrons as well as local residents and businesses
- Developing a collaborative marketing strategy with the live music and performance sector to help grow and diversify audiences
- Lobbying the NSW Government to create a live music and performance development fund to support industry projects, funded by gaming revenue
- Contributing $20,000 towards the Live & Local campaign, to be run by APRA|AMCOS, which will encourage local venues to introduce live music programming into their business
- Developing strategies to proactively support and promote buskers to new audiences.
Stay tuned for more.