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Live music is a significant part of Victoria’s culture – and Music Victoria has identified an opportunity to help music venues increase the accessibility of their spaces. With support from City of Melbourne and City of Yarra, Music Victoria led the Accessible Music Venues project, to assist venues to build their knowledge and identify ways to improve their onsite and online accessibility.

The live music industry has an estimated $3.5B value and contributes to Melbourne’s thriving night-time economy. State government has also “placed creativity at the heart of Victoria’s recovery and prosperity”. Working with access consultants and advisors Morwenna Collett, Amanda Lawrie-Jones and Olivia Muscat, the project assessed the online and on-site accessibility of live music venues across these precincts, with the goal of helping venues identify areas for improvement and investment.

The project’s ultimate goal was to provide Deaf and Disabled audiences, artists and staff more equitable access to Melbourne’s live music industry. The project worked with 31 City of Melbourne and City of Yarra music venues online and 7 venues on-site, the project provided specialised training and recommendations to each participant.

This project helped venues identify:

The project emphasises that "access starts online", advocating for digital accessibility as well as physical. By focusing on ‘achievable accessibility’, this project aimed to demonstrate that solutions to access barriers exist and many can be implemented with budget, heritage or building constraints.

Read the report here

Victorian Live Music Census identifies huge, and growing, potential.

Music Victoria has launched the 2022 Victorian Live Music Census revealing that the live music industry experienced strong year-on-year growth, only to be derailed by the pandemic.


From 2017 to 2019, there was a 48% growth in the economic contribution made by live music across Victoria ($1.72b to $2.55b), where most of the growth was identified at regional Victoria box offices (12% growth a year in regional, compared to 10.5% growth in metropolitan areas).

In 2019 the data in the census reveals that:

When comparing 2019 with 2020-21, it is inevitable that the census data would show large reductions, including:

Music Victoria is committed to reinvigorating the live music sector as a major contributor to the Victorian economy.

“The insights from our census provide a great benchmark. This is the first time we have access to whole-of-state data and findings that will help guide the potential and growth trajectory for our live music industry,” said Schinkel.

“Victoria is renowned for its world-famous live music scene. As such, our priority is to secure support, partnerships, resources and investment that enhance and build the Victorian live music sector to make it even better,” said Schinkel.

Looking at 2023, Simone Schinkel, Music Victoria CEO, said the Victorian live music industry is still in unchartered waters.

“It’s no surprise that we are still managing the ripples of the pandemic. We have a three-year back log of events, and significant government investment bolstering us up. We have not yet settled into a new normal, and it’s going to take ongoing long-term strategic planning, commitment and support to reach the full potential, that we were on track to achieving!

Music Victoria is creating solid partnerships for change, including:

Music Victoria also welcomed the Andrew’s Labor government commitments at the recent election, which align strongly with the recommendations in the census. These include:

Collaboration and development
Creative practitioner support
Venue support

“Over the last three years, we seen bands broken up, workers leave the industry, fan networks disperse and venues suffer major losses. We must not underestimate the challenges ahead.

However, given the consistent and significant growth in revenue and attendance between 2014 and 2019, there is every reason to suggest that Victoria’s live music sector can be reinvigorated.

Victoria’s live music recovery requires significant commitment and cooperation, which will be guided by the findings in our census. It will inspire action to make Victorian live music even better,” explained Schinkel.

The census data is available at here.

Music Victoria now offers free and confidential mental health support services.


Music Victoria in conjunction with the Partners in Wellbeing Program is now offering the Victorian music community confidential mental health support services.

Adding further resources to enable the essential work of Support Act, Music Victoria's new team member, Bree Chapman-Stewart (pictured above) is a Mental Health Clinician/Consultant who will work alongside our team to deliver the new service.

The pandemic has been tough, it's important we get the jump on our mental health as we return to a new world of normal.

Bree offers free and confidential mental health support for you, your families, and your employees. Along with the one-to-one sessions, Bree can refer you to our free financial counselling and business advisory support services.


Service Hours

's available for a chat Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Outside of Business Hours until 10pm, you can call the Partners in Wellbeing Helpline on 1300 375 330, or Support Act 24/7 on 1800 959 500.


Self Referrals and Bookings

You can self-refer by sending a confidential email to or book directly here.

You might have seen the National Roadmap to re-opening, or the more recent Victorian one, but what exactly does it all mean? And what does it mean for music in our state?

Let’s be real… COVID sucks. But we wanted to give you the chance to reach out and ask us questions. Can you rehearse? When can you tour? Do you need to get vaccinated? When is our freedom day?

Watch the video of our Where To From Here Information Session below where we answer all your questions around the roadmap.


Music Victoria and the Victorian Small Business Commission hosted an information session on the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme which you can now watch below.


The session covers eligibility, the process and how mediation can work for tenants and landlords.



More about the scheme

The Scheme was introduced by the Victorian Government to ease the pressure on Victoria’s small and medium-sized businesses (with an annual turnover of less than $50 million) that have experienced a fall in turnover of more than 30 per cent during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Eligible business owners can obtain relief in the form of a proportionate reduction in rent. For example, a business with a turnover of 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels can only be charged 40 per cent of its rent. Of the balance, at least half must be waived, with the remainder deferred.

Under the Scheme, the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) is supporting tenants and landlords by providing information to assist with negotiating a rent relief agreement and access to free and impartial mediation if a fair agreement can’t be reached.

Tenants can also apply to the VSBC for a binding order for rent relief if their landlord fails to respond or sufficiently respond to the VSBC or doesn’t engage in mediation in good faith.

The Scheme applies retrospectively from 28 July 2021 and will run until 15 January 2022.

By Lee Kirby – Senior Account Manager at White Sky

With Covid continuing to cause uncertainty, the landscape for performers and hospitality at least for the short term remains unclear.

We’re seeing local restrictions create hurdles for artists in planning shows, cancellations impacting release strategies and importantly associated costs at a time when cash flow is at its tightest.

In response, recent grant support has set out to target the music and hospitality worlds these including Business Victoria’s Events Support Package and Circuit Breaker Business Support as well as the RISE grant to name a few. However, there’s been a difficulty for many in meeting eligibility, as their business don’t have the regular prerequisites such as being registered for GST.

So what does being ‘GST Registered’ mean?

By registering with the Australian Tax office you’ll be responsible to collect and declare Goods & Services Tax (GST). In short meaning, you’ll need to charge 10% GST on your sales and claim the GST charged on eligible costs.

Generally speaking, this will then be declared to the ATO quarterly via a Business Activity Statement (BAS) and any resulting GST balance either paid to or refunded by the ATO.

Registration is legally required once either your income has reached $75k within the past 12 months, or is anticipated to reach $75k in the coming 12 months. However, there is the opportunity to register voluntarily even if you’re under $75k and this is where there may be some value for small businesses.

What are the Pros & Cons of GST Registration?

Regarding GST registrations, this is a decision that should be weighed up not solely based on grant eligibility, as it needs to make sense from a business point of view and align with your strategic direction.

Each business is different and it’s crucial that you seek advice from a professional to assess your unique situation.



What’s next?

Well, you’ll need to move fast, as the application timeframes for the current financial support are short, and you’ll want to allow some time to prepare and set up the above.

The ATO has some great reading on GST and the procedures, available on their website HERE. Or you can find out more by contacting White Sky Music who’ll be more than happy to assist.