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NSW delivers regulatory incentives for live music

Media Published Wednesday 17 November 2021

Dedicated live music and performance venues will now be granted an additional hour in trading to encourage live music and cultural activity and musicians will now be able to use loading zones to load gear into vehicles following new laws passed in NSW Parliament yesterday to support the live music industry.

The reforms include an additional 60 minutes trading for liquor licences at dedicated live music and performance venues, the ability for musicians being able to use loading zones for the transportation of equipment and instruments and the removal of ‘high-risk’ terminology in reference to music festivals.

“These reforms are real and tangible incentives that will support not just the survival of existing live music venues in NSW but also encourage more live music activity across the state,” said APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston.

“We applaud the NSW Government which has yet again delivered regulatory reforms to incentivise the presentation of live music to support the revival of central business districts, metropolitan and regional centres throughout the state as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“APRA AMCOS and the Live Music Office have been advocating for the systematic removals of complex and unnecessary barriers for the presentation of live music for nearly a decade. These further reforms are a testament to the commitment of the NSW Government and the Opposition in reviving NSW’s music scene for artists and the audiences that love live music,” Ormston said.

The reforms follow the biggest overhaul of regulations around live music and cultural activity in NSW in a generation that passed the parliament in November 2020. The reforms last year included provisions to establish special entertainment precincts, removal of entertainment conditions and exempt development for low impact live entertainment.

The removal of the ‘high-risk’ definition for music festivals has been advocated for by an alliance of music industry bodies, including the Australian Festival Association, Music NSW, Live Performance Australia, APRA AMCOS and the Live Music Office.

“The Live Music Office is thrilled at these reforms which add further important features to the work we did with the NSW Parliament last year in transforming NSW’s ailing live music scene,” said John Wardle from the Live Music Office.

“Parking tickets for musicians unable to access loading zones is an ever present risk for industry workers, and where a night's pay can be lost by loading essential equipment in and out venues. The provision for musicians to use loading zones has been a long term campaign for the Live Music Office. Having it now legislated is an Australian first and we will be seeking to have similar approaches investigated around the country.

“In particular, we thank Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello and Shadow Minister for Live Music John Graham for once again fostering a bipartisan approach to our industry. ”

Research shows that live music in Australia provides $16 billion worth of economic, cultural and social benefit to the nation, with every dollar spent on live music providing three dollars’ worth of benefits returned to the wider community.

As well as this, live music provides a vital benefit to associated industries including hospitality, tourism and regional economic development, fostering safe night time economy activity.

Tourism Research Australia data shows, investment in music and cultural events has one of the greatest impacts in increasing regional visitation. Music, in particular, is one of the highest value events that can drive overnight trips and provide a competitive advantage to regional areas.