News October 22, 2020

Australian Live Music Business Council appoints Craig Spann EGM

Australian Live Music Business Council appoints Craig Spann EGM

Australian Live Music Business Council (ALMBC), which set up mid-year to provide a voice for all levels of the live sector and quickly gained 500 company members, is geared for more action.

It has announced its inaugural executive general manager, Craig Spann, and inaugural board.

The Council represents agents, venues and small promoters through to ticketing companies, poster companies, media, publicists, food vendors, security, music technicians, crew and more.

It will continue to lobby and educate politicians, bureaucrats and the business community that its requirements are different from most sectors, and has a different path to recovery.

The recent results of a member survey provided data on how precarious the situation is.

It reported that 70% of businesses face closure within six months without further immediate action from governments and 73% of members reporting a revenue downturn of over 75%.

Spann’s background in the past 20 years has been government and business relations, media and communications, music policy development and strategic planning – working with Virgin Australia, AMIN, QMusic and News Corp.

“The live music industry has always been innovative and resilient, but 2020 has challenged our industry like never before,” Spann said.

“Now is the time to unite and use the collective strength of our voices to ensure the survival of our industry and be ready for a strong recovery.”

Select Music agency’s Stephen Wade moves from interim to permanent chairman.

Others on the board are Sharlene Harris (ALH), Brian Chaldil (OzTix/Media Rare), Sophie Kirov (Lost Motel/Badlands), Christina Allen (Seamlaas), Nicholas Greco (Untitled), Phaedra Watts (Nannup Music Festival), Emily York (Penny Drop), Ross Macpherson (Macro Music), Jess Mizrahi (Deloitte Access Economics) and Haydn Johnston (Architects of Entertainment).

The ALMBC is already working on two agenda-setting initiatives.

It is holding discussions with First Nations organisations and community leaders to nominate a representative to its board.

“We want to get this right and will continue to listen to First Nations people within our industry to make sure representation at a board level,” Wade said, “along with ALMBCs broader activities, is led by First Nations voices and meet the needs of the community.

“Finalising the makeup of this board has been a detailed process to ensure it reflects the real-world experience of our industry and acknowledges the diversity of people and business across the country.”

It is also developing a range of resources and services aimed specifically at supporting live music get back on its feet.

One is the National Gig-Ready Dashboard, which provides the industry with up-to-date information on COVID restrictions impacting live music in all states and territories.

The data is available for the industry to use for free on its website, with an interactive version currently in development to launch “soon”.

Under Wade’s early leadership, the ALMBC held meetings with the Federal Government and opposition and their state counterparts, from the Prime Minister down.

Discussions continue on a fortnightly basis.

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