The live music sector plays a critical role in supporting the social and cultural vibrancy of NSW and is important for a thriving 24-Hour Economy.

Live music is a big priority for the NSW Government, who made a commitment to invest $103 million over 4 years to support contemporary music and live music. The NSW Government created Sound NSW, a dedicated office within Create NSW that is committed to the growth, development and promotion of contemporary music within NSW.

Sound NSW engaged Ethos Urban to conduct a first-of-its-kind in NSW piece of social and economic research on live music in NSW, to understand the current landscape of live music, and the challenges and opportunities the sector is facing, and how it should be supported going forward.

Curveball 2016 Carriageworks , Anna Warr, Darren Luk and Brayden Smith
Curveball 2016 Carriageworks.
Anna Warr, Darren Luk and Brayden Smith

We undertook a large program of research through:

  • Using an extensive program of social research, with a live music industry survey, stakeholder focus groups and interviews, and a survey of a representative sample of the live music attending public in NSW.
  • Mapping all the live music venues across NSW, creating an extensive venue database and a classification system for live music venues.
  • Undertaking an economic contribution assessment, to state how live music contributes to the NSW economy.
  • Undertaking analysis of planning frameworks that govern the opening and operation of venues, and how the red-tape can be cut from the planning perspective.

Using all this research, we prepared the State of the Scene 2024 – the first ever census of the NSW live music industry. The project required both a deep understanding of live music space and multidisciplinary research rigour. Using our principle of ‘collective intelligence’, our multi-disciplinary team determined how live music in NSW can be best supported going forward and come back to life after a number of challenging years. This research will inform NSW’s first Contemporary Music Strategy, to be released later in 2024.

Key Findings:

The NSW live music industry contributes significantly to the state's vibrancy and sense of wellbeing.

The report found the NSW live music industry:

  • employs 14,180 direct workers and 
    10,920 indirect jobs
  • has an economic output of $5.5 billion
  • has a value-add of $2.7 billion
  • has 795 venues across the state that offer live music.

The State of the Scene 2024 full report is available to read here.

 

Client

Create NSW

Location

NSW

Status

Ongoing 2023-24

Team

Alysson Lucas

Alysson Lucas

Urbanist | Sydney

Jayden Price

Jayden Price

Urbanist | Sydney

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

Associate Director | Sydney

Kate McClure

Kate McClure

Principal | Brisbane

Katerina Roth

Katerina Roth

Graphic Design Lead | Sydney

Lee Cikuts

Lee Cikuts

Director | Sydney

Madeleine Beart

Madeleine Beart

Associate Director | Melbourne

Mark Case

Mark Case

Director | Brisbane

Mark McManus

Mark McManus

Principal | Sydney

Solomon Charles

Solomon Charles

Urbanist | Melbourne