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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.

We are so excited to announce the inaugural HIGHER NOTES MUSIC CONFERENCE 2022 - a free, all ages, new two-day conference that honours the rebirth of the local music community post lockdowns.

Curated by Thickwave and presented by Music Victoria and Always Live in partnership with Support Act, this conference will feature some of the most cherished local musicians, collectives, ballroom performers, industry leaders, DJs and voguing queens, including panels, keynotes, unique shows and presentations by:

Jen Cloher

Georgia Maq

Soju Gang



Stev Zar

House of Dévine

Lorrae Mckenna (Our Golden Friend)

Juliette Lalli (Live Music Programmer)

+ more to be announced!

Celebrating new cultural shifts in areas of mental health, queerness, community, the rise of alt-pop and other insightful topics that make Naarm (Melbourne) one of the most important music capitals in the world.

Join us on October 29 & 30 for a very special weekend at Music Market - the home of Victorian music!

Get Tickets

The full details of the line-up will be released on the 25th August 2022.

Poster artwork by Rowena Lloyd

Our Soundtrack Our Stories, launched Thursday 5 August 2021, is an initiative to soundtrack Australian lives with Australian music. It’s that simple. But one simple move will have a monumental impact on the lives of our homegrown, globally-loved, local artists whose livelihoods have been rocked by the ongoing pandemic. This campaign is about celebrating Australian music and the people making it.


What is ‘Our Soundtrack Our Story’?

Our Soundtrack Our Stories is an open invitation from our country's music community to the rest of Australia to discover, champion, share, and consume more local music. It exists to promote our artists, promote the enormous economic and cultural contribution of local music, and ensure a bright, bold, diverse and exciting future for the next generation of musicians and music lovers alike. The initiative arrives exactly one week after Jack River, real name Holly Rankin, posted the now viral call-to-arms for Australian media and business to get behind homegrown music as it struggles under the pressure of a new wave of lockdowns – all but eliminating prospects for live touring for the foreseeable future – the initiative calls for public commitment to increase the inclusion of diverse Australian artists in the commercial and mainstream landscape.


How will ‘Our Soundtrack Our Story’ help homegrown artists?

Greater support from corporate Australia means greater reach for our artists, which translates to everything from higher streams, new fans and increased royalty revenue. That support could not come at a more important time, with over $64,000,000 in revenue lost since 1 July 2021 among just 2,000 respondents to the I Lost My Gig survey. With 99% of that revenue revealed to be uninsurable, the real figure is significantly higher. This push will invite everyday people to view Australian music in a new light.



How Do I Get Involved?

  1. Share the Our Soundtrack Our Story social assets across all the channels that you use and share your friends and artists you are fans of to show your support. If you see a local business getting behind the initiative then like their posts as well!
  2. Get Creative - There are no limits to how you can get involved. Here are a few ideas that some of our team have taken part in:
    • Create themed playlists with all homegrown artists to share with your friends that soundtrack your everyday moments.
    • Tag 5 brands or businesses that you support and challenge them to play more local music.
    • Re-soundtrack iconic moments with local artists and their songs that you think would be great.
    • Set yourself a challenge to discover, play and share 1 or more Aussie artists every day for a week.
    • Follow @OurSoundtrackOurStories on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter for more and use #OurSoundtrackOurStories



How can I get involved in ‘Our Soundtrack Our Story’?

  1. Share the artist assets.
  2. Tag businesses that you would like to play more local music.
  3. Use your music to re-soundtrack iconic Australian events.
  4. Create your own themed playlists and share with your fans ie. music you would like to hear at your local supermarket.
  5. Follow @OurSoundtrackOurStories on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter for more and use #OurSoundtrackOurStories


I am an Aussie musician - how do I make sure that I am getting paid if my music is played?

If you release recorded music in Australia, there are two copyrights attached to those recordings: one for the composition and one for the recording. The composition’s rights are overseen by APRA AMCOs, while the recording's rights are handled by PPCA. It is free to register with both organisations and only takes a few minutes.

Find out more from APRA AMCOS and PPCA.



I am a local business owner, how can I support ‘Our Soundtrack Our Story’?

  1. Make sure you are playing homegrown music in your store or business and obtaining the right licence, so that these artists can get properly reimbursed for their music, you can find out what licence is best applicable to your business by visiting OneMusic.
  2. Play a radio station that champions local artists.
  3. Seek out the services of a Background Music Supplier to help curate the sound of your business.
  4. Share any of the SOS social assets on your business and personal channels and encourage your followers to do the same.
  5. Set yourself a goal and share your commitment to using more local music and keep your followers up to date on your progress. Share your own personal wins, that is how we keep momentum and positive!
  6. Follow @OurSoundtrackOurStories on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter for more and use #OurSoundtrackOurStories


What do you mean by local/homegrown/Australian Artists?

Whilst we appreciate the cultural impact of music released in the past few decades of Australian music this initiative puts particular emphasis on championing artists from a diverse range of genres and backgrounds, with a push towards music released in the past decade.


What is a Background Music Supplier?

There are a number of different Background Music Suppliers in Australia who are able to create playlists that are best suited to your customers and update these playlists so that the music they supply you with is kept fresh. Some of these suppliers will have existing licences with organisations such as One Music so that the fees can be accurately distributed to the creators of the music.

Costs range between around $35 and $200 a month, excluding music licensing fees, depending on the supplier and what other services and hardware are included. If you are a retailer, Service provider or dining establishment your OneMusic Australia music licence fees can also be bundled into the overall fees charged by the supplier.

For more information visit OneMusic Australia.


Why do I need a music licence to play music / why can’t I use my preferred streaming platform in my shop?

Due to the way music is licenced by streaming services such as; Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Youtube music, these services are only for personal and non-commercial use. This means that you are not allowed to use these services to broadcast or play music publicly in any business ie. Schools, Bars, Restaurants, Dance Studio, Stores, Salons and Radio Stations. By obtaining the correct music licence or enlisting the help of background music suppliers you can make sure that the artists you are playing are getting paid correctly.


Why can’t these businesses just change the music they play?

Whilst we would love for these businesses to start playing local music over night in some cases, in particular with larger businesses, there are existing licensing deals in place that directly relate to the music they play in-store, or on their hold music. That is why it is important to approach this initiative on every level so that we can preserve these existing relationships whilst making local music more accessible and these businesses accountable.


PARTNERS (Alphabetical order):

AAM, AMPAL, APRA AMCOS, ARIA, Australian Festival Association, BMG, Eleven, EMC, EMI, Hutch Collective, Inertia, John Watson Management, Kobalt, Lemontree Music, Live Music Office, Live Nation, MEAA, Mushroom Labels and Mushroom Group, Music ACT, Music NSW, Music NT, Music SA, Music Victoria, Nightlife, PPCA, Q Music, Sony Music, Sony Music Publishing, Sounds Australia, Support Act, The Process, TMWR, Unified, Universal Music Group Australia, Warner Music Australia, Warner Chappel Australia.