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News September 22, 2020

NSW venues warn live music is ‘under threat’ as calls intensify for gov’t support

Senior Journalist, B2B
NSW venues warn live music is ‘under threat’ as calls intensify for gov’t support

Scores of independent live music venues across New South Wales are calling on state leaders to provide support in these dire times.

Otherwise, the once-pumping live scene simply won’t survive.

At told, 61 venues have joined forces for the Save Our Stages NSW petition, which urges the Berejiklian government to liaise with MusicNSW and other music industry reps on a vital stimulus and relief package.

The list of venues signed-up include The Enmore Theatre, the North Wollongong Hotel, The Concourse in Chatswood, the Smokey Horse in Braidwood and the Star Court Theatre in Lismore.

The pandemic is the latest blow in a barrage for a NSW live music industry already reeling from lockout restrictions, bushfires and onerous licensing regulations imposed on festivals.

Sydney Nightlife has received a $1 million boost

Night time is the right time

Those factors contributed to NSW losing its crown to Victoria as the live music state of Australia, according to data published last year by Live Performance Australia.

The situation has only deteriorated.

Live music venues are “really struggling,” reads a statement Tuesday from MusicNSW.

The trade body underlines the state of play with the results of a recent survey of 47 city entertainment venues, which found 85% predicted shutdown within six-to-nine months if there’s no improvement or support.

Livelihoods and millions of dollars are evaporating each day thanks to the harsh crippling trading conditions imposed on venues

“Live music in NSW is under threat,” reads the petition.

Live performance is “essential to an artist’s career development and makes up around 70% of their music income. Without stages to play on, artistic careers in NSW will become almost impossible to maintain, and an industry which employs 23,000 people and contributes $3.6 billion to NSW’s economy will crumble.”

The neighbouring governments in Queensland and Victorian have “committed millions of dollars in support to their venues, now we’re looking to the NSW Government to show their support,” comments Mark Gerber, CEO and Founder of the Oxford Art Factory, one of the signatories of Save Our Stages.

“Without NSW Government intervention, many of our favourite venues will soon be forced to close and with them, tens of thousands of jobs will be lost.”

Sign the petition at

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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