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Victorian Live Music Census 2022

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:

  • there were 1,076 live music venues;
  • there were 184,043 gigs that reached audiences of 50.15m (not including small regional venues); and
  • the average ticket price was $25 (not including all the free shows).

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

  • over 75% of Victorian events were either cancelled, postponed or rescheduled
  • 69% of event revenue lost
  • 71% of audience and visitor spending lost
  • 72% of music related income lost by performers
  • 46% of performers considering leaving the industry
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:

  • Collaborating with Visit Victoria, local councils and regional tourism boards to ensure that live music offerings are integrated into destination and place-based marketing across Victoria.
  • Guiding the Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres to maximise live music programming that delivers more growth for the Victorian music industry in new spaces.
  • Kick starting those live music venues and communities further impacted by last year’s flooding with locally-led gigs enabled thanks to $1m in funding from the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria

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
  • The Music Industry Advisory Council will provide advice across industry, government and community.
  • Ensure that at least 25% of music festivals and live music gigs are held in regional Victoria.
Creative practitioner support
  • Invest $7.5 million to provide up to $1,000 to musicians to perform at venues.
Venue support
  • End the late-night licence freeze at inner-city councils: Yarra, Stonnington, Port Phillip and Melbourne.
  • Invest $2.5 million for a Live Music Major Events Fund that provides grants up to $50k for music festivals.

“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.