South Australia’s Live Music Census shows 27% rise in metro gigs
Adelaide is living up to its UNESCO City of Music status by increasing its number of live gigs.
Music SA’s annual Live Music Census – taken through the month of May and with results released this week – showed there were 1,227 gigs across 201 venues in that period.
This is roughly a 27% increase in gigs and a 28% increase in venues hosting live music in the metropolitan area from 2015 (when the Census was started) to 2018.
This approximately extrapolates to 15,000 annual music gigs, or 300 per week.
Music SA drew a comparison to another UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow, which hosts 150+ live music gigs a week.
For the first time this year, the Census has been expanded to include a count of the entire state of South Australia.
The findings revealed that SA hosted 1523 gigs across 309 venues.
65% of venues and 80% of gigs in May were metropolitan based. 35% of venues and 20% of gigs were regional based
The suburb of Adelaide provided the most live music.
In the state, venues that host live music are 5% breweries and wineries, 7% clubs and bars, 4% cafes and restaurants, 73% hotels and pubs, 2% markets, 4% entertainment venues and 5% other spaces.
Of these venues, 14% host original music, 64% host cover gigs and 22% host both original and cover acts.
Music SA general manager Lisa Bishop says, “With four years of data we now have a strong indication that the live music sector of Adelaide is in a sustainably healthy state.
““(This) is great for musicians who rely heavily on venues to build their fan base, develop their technical skills and hone their stage craft through invaluable instantaneous audience feedback.”
Darren Brown from booking agency Ivy Entertainment states: “The number of hotels that engage with live music is the highest it has been in my time in the game. “Not only that, the frequency of live music continues to rise.
“I also have found the scale of what our hotels want is increasing. For example, previous tendencies for hotels to want smaller scale solo and duo musicians has made way for an increased demand for bands consisting of four to seven players.”
CEO of the Australian Hotels Association (SA), Ian Horne, calls the census results “impressive and reinforce an historic interdependency between the artists, their performances and the hundreds of hotels, pubs, bars and clubs state wide that host live music on a weekly basis.”
George Swallow of The Grace Emily Hotel said that aside from creating a community, “Live music is what we do, without it we wouldn’t have our business or our community, “Having a city with a thriving live music scene adds not only to our city’s image, but has great economic benefits.”
The Tonkin family which runs long time music supporter The Governor Hindmarsh observes, “At The Gov, live music is at the heart of creating a community who feel connected to the hotel.
“It’s the thing that draws people back time and time again.
“The venue draws from the wider Adelaide area and into the regions of the state by presenting an opportunity for audiences to see local and touring acts in a great environment.”
Music SA’s Bishop says that with proof that the venues exist to showcase gigs, “what we need to work on now as an industry is growing the audiences.
“Music SA is working hard to develop relationships with the likes of Brand South Australia, the SA Tourism Commission, Adelaide Airport, community radio and councils across the state to promote playlists and performances by local musicians.
“We want to see South Australians place greater value on the amazing talent in their own back yard.”