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Live Music Professionals


The Live Music Professionals program is an initiative of the Victorian Government delivered by Music Victoria.

Live Music Professionals is a business coaching program that works with Victorian independent promoters, venue owners, band bookers or venue managers who want to build their small to medium live music businesses.

Music Victoria is currently delivering the Live Music Professionals Alumni Program 2021 – 22. Find out more about this offshoot of the Live Music Professionals Program here.

Successful applicants to the Live Music Professionals program are coached in key areas tailored to their business needs. They’re also involved in opportunities such as:

  • Being matched with professional coaches for one-on-one sessions
  • Attending music conferences and small group workshops
  • Networking with likeminded businesses and people.

20 applicants are selected by a panel of live music industry experts from the two streams as outlined below.

Venue stream

Applicants must be involved in a venue which supports original, live music and hosts a minimum of 12 original live music performances each year. Applicants must be one of the following:

  • The venue owner
  • The venue manager
  • The band booker for the venue.

Independent Promoter stream

Applicants must have been running regular events for at least the past 12 months and in that time have run events independently, outside of working for a major promoter or venue.

Applications are now closed. Sign up to the Music Victoria monthly newsletter to hear about future professional development programs.

Live Music Professionals is a program geared towards strengthening Victoria’s diverse and vibrantmusic communities. Through working with music venues and independent promoters across the state of Victoria, we aim to support and grow thriving and sustainable music communities state-wide.

The aim of Live Music Professionals is to:

  1. Support Victoria’s iconic live music sector by assisting venues and independent promoters in their efforts to run sustainable, long-term businesses that support live, original music.
  2. Provide opportunities for those who may be isolated and find difficulty in creating networks and building opportunities.
  3. Encourage more live music in all communities by supporting the people who make it happen through one-on-one coaching, workshops and various networking opportunities.

Applications for the program are now closed.

Who Can Apply?

Live Music Professionals is a program for active independent promoters, live music venues, venue band bookers and venue managers who could use support in order to:

  • Improve a particular aspect of their business
  • Strengthen their overall business
  • Expand their knowledge in various fields relating their business
  • Build professional networks.

We encourage anyone to apply who resides in, and their primary business is active in the state of Victoria.

Eligibility Criteria

Independent Promoters: In order to apply for the Independent Promoters stream, applicants must have been running regular events for at least the past 12 months and in that time have run events independently, outside of working for a major promoter or venue.

Venues: The applicant must be employed by, or own a venue which supports original live music and hosts a minimum of 12 original live music performances each year. Applicants must be one of the following:

  • Venue owner
  • Venue manager
  • Band booker for the venue.

Participant spots are limited and a competitive selection process will operate. In addition to the eligibility criteria, successful participants must:

  • Reside in and have their primary business active in the state of Victoria
  • Commit to identifying an area/s of their business that require/s support
  • Commit to scheduling time to meet with the Live Music Professionals Project Manager in order to create a customised working plan for the program (regional participants will be visited by the project manager)
  • Commit to attending the regional conference (a two-day/overnight night event)
  • Actively participate in and utilise an online forum to discuss, share and receive advice regarding their business (participants with limited computer skills and/or social networking experience are encouraged to apply and will be given extra support in this area)
  • Attend various coaching sessions and/or workshops at the Music Victoria office or via Skype throughout the program
  • Attend Changes conference, a two-day industry conference in Melbourne in June/July
  • Be responsive to all communication from the Live Music Professionals Project Manager
  • Be willing to adhere to all Music Victoria policies and procedures.

Selection Process

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted to arrange an interview. A selection panel will decide on the successful applicants. Program inquiries can be directed to Music Victoria on (03) 9686 3411 or by emailing the Project Manager:

2017 Coaches

Aidan McLaren

Co-Director, The Hills Are Alive, NYE On the Hill and UNIFY

Alex Zaccaria

Co-Director, Bolster

Amanda Ashton

Business and Life Coach

Carolyn Logan

Co-Director, Penney and Logan PR/Management

Danae Effern

Director, Little Giant Agency

Jon Perring

Licensee and Co–owner Bar Open, The Tote

Kate McCabe

PR & Digital Content Consultant

Richard Moffat

Band Booker, Groovin’ The Moo

Sally Mather

Music & Marketing Manager, The Corner Group

Sophie Miles

Boss, Mistletone

2018 Coaches

Ashlea O’Loughlin

Co-Founder, Social Season

Ben Thompson

Venue Booker, 170 Russell

Brian Taranto

Co-owner/Managing Director, Love Police ATM; Owner, Love Police Touring; Promoter, Boogie, New Years Evie, Out On The Weekend

Emily Kelly

Co-Owner and Director of PR and Creative, Deathproof

Moira Mckenzie

Senior Associate, Sanicki Lawyers

Nigel Melder

Tour Promoter & Download Festival Booker, Live Nation

Sally Mather

Music & Marketing Manager, Corner Hotel and Northcote Social Club

Tom Harris

Artist Manager, Business Manager and Managing Director, White Sky

Sharlene Harris

National Entertainment Manager, ALH Group

Shaun Adams

Venue Programmer, Karova Lounge

2019 Coaches

Amanda Vitartas

Future Popes publicity, Venue booker: The Grace Darling, Co-manager: Moaning Lisa, Cry Club and Candy.

Andrew Fuller

Commercial lawyer, Director of Clearview Legal Counsel

Bella Kranjec

Online Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Corner Group

Cara Williams

Founder and Director, Slow Clap

Jackie Antas

General Manager, Communications for Ticketmaster / Live Nation Australia

Renée Hermsen

Shaun Adams

Venue Programmer, Karova Lounge

Thomas Supple

Senior Music Curator, Dark Mofo

Tom Harris

Managing Director, White Sky Accounting

Tristian Ceddia

Creative Director, Never Now

2020 Coaches

Belinda Collins

Creative Director & Founder, The Social Crew Event Agency

Cassie Walker

Digital Content Lead- Music, Triple M

Emily Ulman

Festival Director & Programmer, Isol-Aid; Programmer, Brunswick Music Festival

Liam Matthews

Co-Owner, The Old Bar

Richard Moffat

Programmer, Groovin The Moo

Sally Mather

Programming & Commercial Partnerships Manager, The Forum

Sarah Dileo

Senior Digital Manager, Mushroom Group

Sarah Guppy

Shaun Adams

Venue Programmer, Hotel Esplanade

Stefanos Fernandez

Digital Strategy Manager, ANZ

Tom Harris

Artist Manager; Business Manager and Managing Director, White Sky

Thomas Supple

Senior Music Curator, Dark Mofo

Woody McDonald

Head of Music Programming, Rising festival; Broadcaster, 3RRR

2020 Participants


Independent Promoters


2019 Participants


Independent Promoters


2018 Participants


Independent Promoters


2017 Participants


Independent Promoters

Reference Panel

Shaun Adams

Venue Programmer, Hotel Esplanade

No stranger to the music industry, Shaun Adam’s has had the pleasure of working with Australian artists such as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Powderfinger, Silverchair and Peking Duk when promoting his own shows and events across regional Victoria, as well as programming for St Kilda’s Prince Bandroom and the Karova Lounge in Ballarat. He’s also been heavily involved with Australia’s peak music body, Music Victoria, and has dipped his toe in and out of artist management.

Since taking on the role as Venue Programmer for The Espy, the hallowed Gershwin Room has welcomed an array of artists such as Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Babe Rainbow, Cosmic Psychos, Daryl Braithwaite, Lime Cordiale & The Teskey Brothers. Not to mention hosting a Nova Red Room with American EDM trio, The Chainsmokers, and The Rubens for the critically acclaimed MTV unplugged.

Jayden Bath

Founder & Festival Director, Loch Hart Music Festival

Jayden is the Founder and Festival Director of Loch Hart Music Festival – a three-day camping festival on the Great Ocean Road in Princetown. Starting in 2018, Loch Hart includes a diverse line-up of Australian artists, comedy, yoga, ocean views, and is a leader in environmental sustainability.

Jayden is also an Environment and Planning Lawyer at MinterEllison having completed his Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce degrees at Monash University.

Melinda Dine

Melinda has worked in a variety of roles at The Push Inc for the past ten years. Beginning with a Bachelor of Business – Music Industry at VU, Melinda moved on to work at the Big Day Out. At The Push, Melinda managed the Music Under Wings program which incorporated a range of mentoring and skill development initiatives including Music Victoria’s Live Music Professionals Program. Melinda has skills in program design and implementation, not for profits, human resources and more. She also has governance experience having sat on the Centre for Innovative Justice’s Restorative Justice Advisory Board and providing consultancy to the Office of Public Prosecutions and the Family Violence Restorative Justice Project. Melinda is currently studying law.

Sally Mathers

Sally has worked in music venues for over 15 years in all facets of the business. Recently starting with The Forum Melbourne as Programming & Commercial Partnerships Manager, Sally was previously with the Corner Group for nearly 10 years overseeing the music & marketing operations of the group, including bookings, marketing, ticketing and logistics. Sally has participated in the Live Music Professionals program as a mentor and MV’s Cultivate program as a participant and has a strong belief in the value these program have to offer to venue operators and the next wave of the music industry as a whole.

Guven Yilmaz

Director, Vita Music Group

Having cultivated seven years experience in the music industry, Guven Yilmaz, director of Vita Music Group, maintains a key focus on artist development, agency/touring and boutique management. Based in Melbourne, VMG represents artists across the musical spectrum, with the likes of Peking Duk, Nyxen, Milan Ring, Kwame, Raave Tapes, UV Boi, Benson and more.

The Live Music Professionals program is an initiative of the Victorian Government delivered by Music Victoria.

The Coaches

“I’m a huge fan of the LMP programme. One of my constant frustrations with the music industry over the years has been the constant cycle of good people with good hearts giving up on the dream of working full-time in music. It’s a simple fact that most people start working in hobbyist style, or start working in a small business environment of high risk to very low return, and that most businesses take many years of hard work before they grow into profitable long term concerns. LMP managed to capture a good percentage of those hard working people from around Victoria and put them in a hot house environment where they shared war stories, learned skills, workshopped solutions to common problems. We all found the kind of connection and community that gives you the resilience to continue. I was really impressed with the level of sophistication of discussion. The music industry is constantly changing entity, so an active dialogue between new players and established businesses is essential. I hope the programme will continue for many years to come.”
Richard Moffat, Band Booker, Groovin’ The Moo

“There is no right or wrong way in the music industry; it’s about finding your own way, what keeps you passionate and what inspires you. Live Music Professionals is a program that shines a light on those strengths and gives you resources for you to grow; but also the ability to network with peers and meet likeminded people could be its biggest strength in an often isolating industry.”
– Shaun Adams, Karova Lounge Ballarat

“Live Music Professionals was a great way to connect with people in different facets of the industry and it was really exciting to see the enthusiasm everyone had to learn, share and really make the most of the program.”
Sally Mather, The Corner Group

“It was such a pleasure to be a coach in the LMP program. Getting involved with people truly passionate about music and what they do was really exciting. Was great to see so many awesome industry people sharing their knowledge”
Alex Zaccaria, Bolster

“So great to be able to take part in the Live Music Professionals workshop last year. Congratulations to Music Victoria who put a lot of thought into ensuring the participants took a lot of valuable knowledge away with them. It was a pleasure to be part of such a quality program.”
Carolyn Logan, Penney & Logan PR

“Being a coach in this program was a rewarding and enlightening process for me. The learning and sharing was very much a two-way process.”
Sophie Miles, Mistletone

The Participants

“Live Music Professionals was invaluable to me as a way to broaden my knowledge of the many facets of the music business. It was really heartening sharing stories with the coaches and other participants and knowing that having connections in the business is key to how you can improve within it. The coaches were engaged in the program and I felt were genuinely interested in my business and very keen to help. The other participants were all enthusiastic and I think we all benefited from the fun social aspects of the course too. Overall the program was very insightful, always fun and extremely well put together.”
– Tim Heath: Owner, Theatre Royal Castlemaine

“The LMP program provided my business and I with a wealth of information and music industry contacts that I simply wouldn’t have had access to otherwise; the workshops were a key tool in learning how to market my product much more efficiently and the opportunity to pick the brains of the industry’s brightest was something that I found extremely insightful and helpful in improving my events as a whole. Inclusion into the program also directly led to further employment via one of my program mentors, another opportunity that came about because of the LMP program.”
– Todd O’Brien: Managing Director of Hopkins Creek Festival

“Being part of the LMP program has allowed me to network with some amazing music industry people, both the participants and coaches! I have learned so much more through the program than I ever would have on my own, and feel so much more confident in being able to manage my business than I did before.”
Sasha Janssen: Whole Lotta Love, Brunswick East

“The LMP program provided me with a great deal of professional development that is sorely lacking in the live music industry. The cross pollination of ideas and networking opportunities it granted me has been instrumental to the way i have booked The Night Cat.”
Will Evans: The Night Cat, Fitzroy

“Live Music Professionals was a very valuable experience for me personally and also for my business. The program connected me with some really great people working all over the industry and has given me great inspiration about ways to grow and improve our business. As a result of the program we have implemented a new marketing plan for Some Velvet Morning which has helped considerably, not only in growing sales but also in professional headspace as we take on a second venue. I also had great fun in the process and was reminded that others often make mistakes like we do!”
Jeremy Furze: Some Velvet Morning, Clifton Hill & The Bridge, Castlemaine

“Thanks for a very exciting time and a terrific learning curve for me. I have benefitted enormously from the program and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend others to do it. I found it very motivating and I’m blown away by the knowledge out there, especially among some very enthusiastic young people. I thought I may have been a little out of place with my lack of experience in the industry itself but actually felt very welcomed and drawn in by everyone and quite validated that my own background and experience in other areas is quite transferable within the industry. The business coaches allocated to me by Live Music Professionals were a perfect fit for our type of business and were able to point us in the right direction or help unravel the intricacies of how best to communicate with the various layers of artists, their managers and agents. Presenters at the Live Music Professionals conference, workshops and Face the Music were highly experienced individuals who were very happy to share their knowledge with participants.”
Rikki Raadsveld: Beechworth Music Festival

“I had created and was running a music project and really making it up as I went along. In many ways I was working in a ‘bubble’, struggling from event to event and not really knowing if how I was working was the correct way to operate. The Live Music Professionals initiative introduced me to a group of interesting and talented individuals, many of whom were in a similar situation. Through the networking opportunities we were able to share experiences and ways of working and help each other in so many positive ways. Coming together with the Live Music Professionals group also helped me realise that I was not alone and that there are many like-minded individuals and groups out there with similar visions and ideas wanting bring quality live music to a discerning rural audience. Meeting so many music professionals through the various meetings and workshops was invaluable in helping me make decisions which affected both the day-to-day running and the future strategic direction of my music events. I now have a clearer vision for my events and even hope to run a festival in the future.”
Robin Griffiths: MOTH, Red Hill

“The LMP program was an excellent opportunity to meet fellow industry professionals in an ever evolving industry. Through the program I made new connections and friends and learnt a lot in a short amount of time, especially in the field of digital marketing, promotional opportunities and the future of online and social media. The LMP program left me feeling excited and inspired about future opportunities and potentials for Bone Soup. It helped me generate new ideas and helped me build the tools and the confidence to make it happen. Thank you Sarah and the LMP gang!”
Pablo Alvarado: Bone Soup

“I found the mentors and coaches extremely knowledgeable in each of their fields and so generous in passing on the collected learning in each of their specialty fields. With what I learnt, we are slowly turning our Live Music venue around, and hope for bigger and better to come. Thank you all!!”
Jed Mast: The Loft, Warrnambool.

“The LMP program was a very rewarding experience. I’m very grateful of the opportunity. Through it I strengthened Vibrating Planet’s vision and learned so many tools and techniques to create successful results in my events, including the creation of a small and growing Latin-alternative music Festival. The results were highly satisfactory with a packed venue two nights in a row. I was also able to expand my network and met a great community of people who shared the same passion for music. There are many highlights I remember from the program including one-on-one coaching sessions, the digital marketing workshop and group meetings with industry professionals who gave us some key insights about their work. Thank you Music Victoria and all the team for your professionalism and excellent support all the way.”
Oscar Jimenez, Vibrating Planet

“Overall this program has been one of the most beneficial industry based training programs I have ever been involved in. The structure of the program launch and the intensive two days of classes and networking left me wanting more opportunties to spend time with attendees to understand their experiences/venues/opportunities.”
Lincon Boyd: ex Narana Fest, Geelong

Frequently Asked Questions

Participants will:

  • Have a session with the Project Manager to help define the areas of their business which are doing well and those which need strengthening.
  • Receive three, one-on-one coaching sessions with a variety of music industry and other professionals who will answer their questions and provide support and advice.
  • Have access to amazing networking opportunities.
  • Attend a number of specialised conferences related to live music businesses.
  • Have the opportunity to attend workshops and masterclasses relevant to their business activities.

These opportunities will help participants expand their networks and assist with their efforts to run sustainable, long-term businesses that support live, original music.

Participants will:

  • Attend a launch event where they will partake in a variety of activities.
  • Meet with the Project Manger at the commencement of the program to complete a business SWOT analysis.
  • Attend a regional conference, specifically designed for the 20 Live Music Professionals participants where they will access one-on-one coaching sessions with music industry professionals while also participating in small, tailored workshops, panels and networking sessions.
  • Utilise an online forum for the duration of the program where they can network with other participants and coaches and utilise the forum to answer questions and receive feedback and support.
  • Attend other coaching sessions and workshops in metropolitan Melbourne or via Skype.
  • Attend a final program conclusion event.
  • Be required to complete a post-program questionnaire.

The program will run for four months commencing on in July and concluding on a date TBC in October 2019.

In event order, participant time commitments will be as follows (not including travel time, subject to change):

  • Two to three days at the Melbourne-based launch event whioch will coincide with the Changes conference.
  • Two to three hours to personally meet with the project manager in order to create a working plan for the one-on-one coaching sessions. (This meeting will generally take place at Music Victoria, in your music venue or at a location as agreed to by yourself and the project manager.)
  • Two days (one night) for the regional conference (scheduled mid-week).
  • A few hours, over the course of the program, to attend workshops, masterclasses and other coaching sessions either via Skype or in person in Melbourne.
  • Participants can dedicate as much or as little time as they chose to utilising the online forum.

After the commencement of the program you will meet with the Live Music Professionals project manager in order to create a plan which will help you maximise your time spent with the coaches. You will receive three, one-on-one, hour-long coaching sessions with music industry professionals or relevant business coaches who will work with you to strengthen your business.

We will cover accommodation, where required, for our program launch event in Melbourne (and related conference tickets). We will also cover accommodation and meals, where required, at the programs regional conference (date tbc). We will also cover the cost of the business coaches and workshop(s).

Yes! We strongly encourage people from all over the State of Victoria to apply for our program.

Select the stream which you dedicate the most time to, or you feel you require the most support with. Ensure you have a clear understanding of the difference between each stream.

Please select the venue which you spend the majority of your time working for, or the venue which could best utilise the resources and support of the program.

An independent promoter will organise events/gigs or festivals and be responsible for every aspect of organising the event. They may do some, or all of the following: book the band/s, find and book the venue, organise production for the event, publicise and promote the event and organise payment to relevant parties. A venue band booker is someone who works for a specific venue/s and books bands on a regular basis for the venue/s. This person would be paid by the venue for their duties. Venue owners and venue managers will sometimes wear multiple hats and fill the role of the band booker. Generally venues will not be responsible for promoting an event.

Yes! No matter what level your computer and social networking skills are at, we encourage all suitable candidates to apply. If computer and social networking skills are something you require support in, then this can be an area that you identify as needing coaching in.

No! It doesn’t matter what genre/s of music you support/book so long as the majority of the music is contempoary, original music.

The Live Music Professionals program is an initiative of the Victorian Government delivered by Music Victoria.


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