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Industry: $100m plan to make NSW the premier music state

Media Published Monday 20 February 2023

Today over 30 music industry organisations and leaders are launching a united plan aimed at supercharging music in NSW. In the leadup to the NSW election the $100million plan asks both government and opposition to commit to a strategic focus and significant investment in the development of this $1.6B national industry.

Three key pillars are outlined in the plan to stabilise and grow the NSW music industry:

  1. Establishment of a Contemporary Music Office in NSW Government to drive music development.
  2. Significant government investment in artists, and industry initiatives.
  3. Protecting and building venues, festivals and spaces to make NSW a proud home of music.

This plan for contemporary music in NSW is the result of true collaboration across the music industry. Now we are asking all parties to elevate music in their election strategy, and for voters to consider what’s on offer and to #votemusic on Saturday, 25 March.

We want every music fan, artist and music business across this state to be proud of what NSW sounds like. There is no other place in the world like NSW, and we should celebrate that. We have a rich and deep history that goes back tens of thousands of years, and we have music being made now that’s playing right across the world.

But after a decade of challenges, music in NSW is not flourishing as it should. We have fewer places for live music, and creative professionals and music businesses are moving interstate. A generation of young talent is missing out on opportunities and regional music communities aren’t getting enough support to thrive.

It’s time for music to make the cities and towns across NSW thrive. It’s time to bring people out of their homes and into a world of lively streets, packed venues and sold-out tours. It’s time for more local music on TV, in films and on radio. It’s time for the next generation of talent to take the world by storm. It’s time for a new NSW.

Dean Ormston, APRA AMCOS CEO, said: "NSW is a key engine room for the nation’s music industry and the launching pad for so many of Australia’s extraordinary artists. But the music economy is global and competition is fierce. A Goldman Sachs report into the international music market estimates total music revenue to double to about $131 billion by 2030. If NSW wants a piece of that pie we need government working in partnership with artists, industry workers and business to get the investment, regulation and policy settings right.”

The full details of the plan and policy actions for a strong NSW music industry can be found at


Emily Collins, MusicNSW Managing Director said: “NSW is the natural home for music, and this policy is a bold and ambitious roadmap for supercharging our local industry. With a wealth of talent, robust businesses and music-hungry audiences and listeners, NSW is on the precipice of something really big. Government has a crucial role to play. We are asking for strategic focus, investment and the right policy settings. We’ll do the rest.”

Annabelle Herd, ARIA and PPCA CEO, said: “NSW has a long history of surfacing some of Australia’s most celebrated musicians, not just on our shores but across the world. Today more than ever before, new artists need the right settings to develop an all-important local fanbase and a springboard for global success. We urge all parties to seriously consider this plan to unlock the wealth of potential for music in NSW as a social, cultural and economic driver.”

Evelyn Richardson, Live Performance Australia CEO, said: “‘Some of our most iconic live music performance venues and festivals are in NSW.. But we can’t take them for granted and need to keep investing in the people and physical infrastructure that are part and parcel of a vibrant, diverse and successful live music industry. From our smallest band room to our largest stadium or outdoor festival space, NSW should seize the opportunity to be the premier destination for live music in Australia. The NSW Government should put in place a properly funded and industry-advised strategy to grow the skills base and provide the places so that music, and those who make it and present it to audiences, can thrive.”

Greg Carey, Chair of Association of Artist Managers said: “Artist Managers play a pivotal role in the music industry, ensuring our artists and music businesses grow and thrive. For years NSW has been under-investing in manager development – meaning other states are eclipsing not just number of managers we have, but the programs and initiatives to support them. Now is the perfect time to invest in our artist manager community – it benefits the whole industry and will kickstart NSW’s renaissance as a great music state.”

Jane Slingo, VibeLab Asia Pacific Director said: "Any place or city in the world that is vibrant all year round has its government, music industry and music communities aligned on a clear vision for greatness and success. The music communities and industry in NSW has shown remarkable resilience amidst immense challenges over the last decade and today everyone can feel the energy and potential unfolding in real time in this great state. If this policy is embraced by all parties, combined with the dedication of our music community, the potential for this 1.6B industry to grow significantly will be realised."

Mitch Wilson, Australian Festivals Association Managing Director said: “NSW is the chosen home of some of Australia’s most loved festivals, growing to become globally recognised brands. This should be a place where new festivals are fostered so they can flourish and evolve. We want to see regulation strike a better balance between safety and viability and we want to see the whole ecosystem bolstered from a strategic focus and investment in a committed government. We ask all parties to commit to repealing the Music Festival Act and to work with industry to deliver safe and successful festivals.”

Sam Nardo, Century Venues Chief Operating Officer, said: “It’s been an extremely challenging decade for live music. On top of the lockdowns, NSW has also had lockouts. Dedicated performance venues are essential to the live music ecosystem and we need to support the ones we've got. We must create the right policy settings to encourage new spaces to emerge. Both our cultural and economic contribution to our local communities needs recognition. It’s time we are proactive about developing a holistic approach to our local industry”.