Guest Author: John Wardle, Live Music and Live Performance Taskforce chair

It’s no secret that live music in Sydney has seen better days. In light of this, a series of policy recommendations to encourage more live music and performance in Sydney are now before Council.

Recognising that a range of complex issues, including noise and other regulations, have been responsible for venues shutting their doors over the recent years, the City last year established a Live Music and Live Performance Taskforce. The Taskforce brings together 11 people with a music policy background to investigate the issues in Sydney and propose short, medium and long-term actions to support growth for the sector. Here’s where you’ll find a list of its members.

In November the Taskforce presented an Action Plan with its findings. This included 57 recommendations across regulation, internal process reform, new programs and services, advocacy and further research. The Plan tackles issues like regulatory barriers, the availability of space to rehearse and perform and hopes to develop new audiences and ultimately, give performers more opportunities.

We are now looking for musicians, those working in the industry or anyone who loves live music or has an opinion about live music in Sydney, to give us their thoughts.  This feedback will be reviewed and worked into the Action Plan which will form the City’s strategy for the coming years.

Here’s where you can read the full plan and leave your comments.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

  • Exploring changes to the liquor freeze for venues that have live music and entertainment as their primary purpose
  • Setting new sound proofing standards for new residential developments
  • Finding better ways to deal with complaints from neighbours
  • Providing financial help for infrastructure and capital costs to encourage new and existing venues to host live music
  • Amending parking rules so musicians and performers can more easily unload equipment
  • Exploring the suitability of the City’s building stock to be used as rehearsal spaces
  • Reviewing the Cities Development Control Plan to acknowledge existing live music and performance use and plan for future character
  • Using indoor and outdoor City properties as live music and performance venues by improving sound, lighting and seating
  • Establishing a major new outdoor event space in Sydney
  • Increasing the frequency of all-ages events
  • Creating a simpler approvals process for small-scale low risk music events
  • Establishing a live music and performance liaison contact at the City and developing information guides
  • Addressing the lack of sector knowledge about planning
  • Developing a localised research framework with the National Live Music Office to monitor the success of the Action Plan

Cultural policy that addresses both regulation and development of the live music and performance sector has never been undertaken on this level. It’s very important that we get feedback on the Action Plan from the community – so please have your say.

The closing date to leave your comments is 14 January 2014.

Published: 2 Dec, 2013 | 0 Comments | Tags: , | Author: John Wardle, Live Music and Live Performance Taskforce chair

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