Skip to main content

Victorian Live Music 10 Point Plan

The secrets behind Melbourne’s success as one of the great live music cities in the world have been revealed with the release of a 10 point plan by Music Victoria.

Melbourne’s credentials as a top live music city are the result of collaboration between the industry, businesses and government, a commitment to protecting artists and venues, and a pledge to band together and rally if needed.

Produced by Music Victoria, the peak body for contemporary music, the 10 Point Plan is based on initiatives developed with partners and stakeholders including the State Government of Victoria, Fair Go 4 Live Music, Save Live Australia’s Music (S.L.A.M) and venue and studio owners, promoters and academics.

The 10 point plan was developed after fielding enquires from all over the world about how the music scene works in Melbourne and what sets the city apart. It was in part motivated by multiple requests for strategic advice from around the globe including cities such as London, Bangkok and Amsterdam, which is interested in adopting the Agent of Change principle.

The Victorian Live Music 10 Point Plan, which like Spinal Tap, actually goes to 11, highlights the steps the Victorian music industry has taken over the last seven years to save, nurture and grow the state’s live music communities. It also serves as a guide for cities worldwide who can use it to strengthen their own live music scenes.

OBJECTIVE

Understand the economic, social and cultural impacts of music.

ACTION

Commission reports into the economic, social and cultural contribution of music to the State including auxiliary industries and comparisons to other industries like sport.

CURRENT STATUS

2011: Deloitte Report “The economic, social and cultural contribution of venue-based live music in Victoria”
2012: Music Victoria “Victorian Live Music Census”
2014: University of Tasmania “The Economic and Cultural Value of Live Music in Australia”
2014: Music Victoria “Regional Victoria Live Music Census”
2015: Victorian “Contemporary Music Regional Audit” (not published)
Ongoing: Live Performance Australia “Ticket Revenue and Attendance Reports”

FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Conduct a report on economic, cultural and social impact of festivals and music tourism.
  • Conduct a new Victorian Live Music Census in October 2017

OBJECTIVE

Ensure live music has non-partisan support at government level.

ACTION

Establish non-partisan support for live music through networking and groups such as a Music Friends of Parliament (FOP).

CURRENT STATUS

National group established, e.g. http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Friendship

FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Planning stage for State FOP group.

OBJECTIVE

Ensure contemporary music is not linked to high-risk behaviour in licensing.

ACTION

Work with the Government to pass legislation recognising the contribution of live music in the liquor act to prevent live music being linked to crackdowns on alcohol-related harm measures. Ensure the music industry is represented on the Liquor Control Advisory Council (LCAC).

CURRENT STATUS

  • Music Victoria is a current member of LCAC.
  • Nightclub industry is represented at LCAC.

FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Music Victoria representative to continue membership on LCAC advocating on behalf of the live music sector.
  • Encourage councils in setting up regular Liquor Accord meetings where licensees, council and police can discuss issues and best practice.

OBJECTIVE

Ensure regulatory reform is clearly articulated.

ACTION

Present a ‘’white paper’’ to the State Government clearly outlining the case for regulatory reform and investment to support venues, through planning initiatives such as the Agent of Change principle.

CURRENT STATUS

Music Victoria submitted their “white paper” in 2014. It can be read here.

FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Review and regularly monitor.

OBJECTIVE

Ensure regulatory reform is actioned.

ACTION

Establish a live music roundtable (with a terms of reference linked to a key minister) comprised of key industry and government representatives across government agencies such as creative industries, planning, liquor licensing and environment to address actions in the “white paper” with specialist committees and task forces for specific issues, e.g., a Sexual Harassment Taskforce for safe venues.

CURRENT STATUS

Ongoing meetings in 2017.

FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Set up new taskforces on a needs basis.
  • Consider the concept of a Night Mayor to develop specific actions to the night time economy.

OBJECTIVE

Advocate the value of contemporary music at council level.

ACTION

Survey candidates at local council elections asking them to commit to local music strategies.

CURRENT STATUS

2012/2016: Council elections. See Music Victoria’s council election surveys here.
2017: Recognised top ten councils that support live music and release the findings publicly.

FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Encourage more council live music action plans to be developed.
  • Develop more outcomes from action plan. Develop specific goals for local council actions.

OBJECTIVE

Professionalise the live music sector.

ACTION

Create a best practice guide for live music venues and offer incentives for venues to abide by them. Regularly update with new chapters.

CURRENT STATUS

Music Victoria: Best Practice Guidelines for Music Venues”

FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Review and update on a regular basis.

OBJECTIVE

Respond to needs of the live music sector with appropriate programs.

ACTION

Partner with government in delivering programs in line with the needs of the live music sector.

CURRENT STATUS

Victorian Government's sound attenuation grant and advice program, delivered by Music Victoria, to support venues: Good Music Neighbours
Victorian Government's coaching program, delivered by Music Victoria, to upskill venue operators and independent promoters: Live Music Professionals.

FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Measure the success of these programs and seek ongoing funding to continue delivering them.

OBJECTIVE

Advocate for artists.

ACTION

Canvas needs of artists and support opportunities to build sustainable creative careers.

CURRENT STATUS

FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Consider adopting a Fair Trade Musicians Program, similar to the one in Seattle.
  • Expand Live Music Permit car parking initiative across multiple municipalities.

OBJECTIVE

Ensure that the music industry is educated and skilled

ACTION

Partner with educational institutions to ensure curriculum is relevant and up to date.  Partner with industry and government to deliver professional development initiatives.

CURRENT STATUS

2012: Music Victoria “Victorian Live Music Census”
2015
: Victorian “Contemporary Music Regional Audit” (not published)

ONGOING:Music Victoria annual professional development program; sit on tertiary education Course Advisory Committees and Industry Advisory Groups

FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Consult with music industry, including emerging professionals, and educational institutions regarding needs and opportunities

ACTION

Unite the music community for a public rally

CURRENT STATUS

SLAM Rally galvanised the music industry.

FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • If all else fails, rally the music community.

The plan acknowledges initiatives and programs including the Victorian Government’s world-first ‘Agent of Change’ principle which protects venues across the state from encroaching residential developments, and its $22m Music Works package which includes funding and programs for artists, venues, promoters and industry organisations. It also recognises the role councils play in supporting live music and strategies such as the City of Melbourne’s Music Strategy, and takes into account Music Victoria’s own programs including the Rock Star Parks initiative and the annual Victorian Live Music Census.
 
The Plan’s launch coincides with the Victorian Government’s announcement that Melbourne won the rights to host the prestigious global Music Cities Convention in Melbourne in April 2018.
International music strategy expert, Dr. Shain Shapiro, from convention presenter Sound Diplomacy, believes that every city can learn from Music Victoria’s Victorian Live Music 10 Point Plan.

"When a city or region commits to developing their music infrastructure, they must realise that it's not a race, but a never ending process that has to continually be measured, refined and tested,’’ said Dr. Shapiro,
‘’Victoria is one of the best at not just realising this, but also putting it into practice. This 10 point plan is demonstrating their commitment to ensuring music remains at the top of the policy agenda in Melbourne and the region and should be commended."

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley says “Melbourne’s position as Australia’s music capital is not something we take for granted. That’s why our Music Works package provides support for the industry at every level; from the artists making the music, to music managers, promoters, technicians and venues. We’re also supporting projects that celebrate our music heritage, such as the development of the Australian Music Vault and the Rockin’ the Laneways program. Music Victoria's 10 Point Plan reflects the strong links between government and the music industry. It also reminds us why Melbourne is a music city, and we are the creative state.”

Music Victoria CEO, Patrick Donovan says, “Melbourne, Australia has already got more live music venues per capita than anywhere in the world and a diverse range of artists that bring them alive every night of the week. It’s in our best interests to have strong live music circuits all over the world. It has worked for us and will be of huge benefit to music communities everywhere.”

Alex Mann, Acting Live Performance Official from the British Musicians' Union's Live Performance Department said "We're really impressed by the strength of Victoria's music offer, particularly the way their live scene is so neatly and harmoniously woven into the city's complex infrastructure. By using legislative measures such as Agent of Change, Victoria's music industry has shown that it's possible for live music to run alongside planning, licensing and environmental priorities in a way that works for everyone. It's a really great example for aspiring and established music cities around the world".

 


Music Victoria is proudly supported by :