Strategic Priorities for Live Music Office Announced

Tuesday, 03 Sep 2019

The strategic priorities of the Live Music Office, the advisory and capacity building body first established by APRA AMCOS in partnership with the Australian Government in 2013, have been finalised following an industry wide consultation and clarity around its future core funding.

The industry wide consultation found that since 2013, the Live Music Office scored big wins for the live music scene across jurisdictions nationally and its work remains critical to the music industry. It showed the work of the Office has been successful in transforming the regulatory barriers in many areas, embedding live music as an important cultural and economic activity.

It also found the work of the Office is not finished and there remains a critical desire for further regulatory advisory work as well as capacity building projects, particularly in partnership with industry stakeholders.

Live music is one of the key drivers for the success of Australia’s music industry. Not only does it provide musicians and songwriters a platform to be heard, it is also the feeding ground for the next generation of artists and a critical source of revenue for musicians and the industry.

A recent survey of APRA AMCOS’ 100,000 members found that in recognition of the importance of live music in members' careers and the role that venues play in fostering talent, APRA AMCOS should continue to prioritise engagement and support for venues, by creating an outreach channel and foster live performance opportunities.

Since 2017, the capacity of the Office has been significantly reduced due to lack of core funding. APRA AMCOS remains the sole organisation that has maintained staffing and advisory work of the Office. The Office also receives project funding from the Australian Music Association for the delivery of Make Music Day.

The current staffing capacity of the Office is divided across government policy, regulation, advocacy strategy and industry consultation managed by a Policy and Regulation consultant (0.4 FTE), and capacity building project management, communication and industry engagement by a Project and Engagement Manager (1.0 FTE).

With clarity around the Office’s core funding, this staffing will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. With this capacity, the Office will focus its activities to the following priorities:

  1. Review the impact of federal, state and local government policy frameworks on the live music sector and advocate for policy changes on behalf of the sector, across Australia
  2. Provide information, guidance and research on live music best practices to the state music organisations, researchers, the media, the hospitality industry and all levels of government
  3. Innovate and implement audience and industry development initiatives in partnership with industry to increase live music performance opportunities, support live music audience and sector development

Further information relating to these priorities can be found below.

Vision and Organisation Goals

The Live Music Office (LMO) works to support the growth of the venue-based live music sector in Australia to:

  1. Increase live music performance opportunities;
  2. Support live music audience and sector development.

We seek to achieve these goals through the following strategies:

  • Identify and promote best practice policy
  • Support dialogue between stakeholders
  • Work with local stakeholders to develop and implement strategic policy and reform
  • Collate and share information amongst stakeholders

We aim to provide:

  • Regulatory and policy guidance
  • Best practice references and templates
  • Methodologies for engagement and to progress reform
  • Position papers and summaries of policy areas
  • Dissemination of information related to the music sector
  • Support for local stakeholders engaged in policy reforms and sector development
  • Research direction, strategy and coordination
  • Tools and initiatives related to sector mapping

2019/2020 Priorities

In 2019/2020, The LMO will work to deliver strategic goals that have been informed by the 2018 LMO Review and the 2019 APRA AMCOS Member Consultation.

The following are identified as ongoing challenges faced by the live music industry:

  • Complex national, state and local regulatory frameworks
  • Sector division
  • Decline in existing venues and barriers to establishing new venues
  • Gentrification/urban development and land use conflict
  • Building and maintaining audiences
  • Varying capacity across venues, musicians and local councils
  • Lack of focus on Regional Touring
  • Ongoing funding issues
  • Artist remuneration
  • Competition with alternative consumer platforms
  • Lack of all ages gigs

As such, the strategic goals of the LMO for the next 12 months are outlined in response to requests by industry for the following services:

  • Regulatory support provided to government
  • Regulatory/legislative guidance provided to industry bodies
  • Provision of case studies and examples of best practice
  • Regional engagement
  • Assistance with government submissions
  • Live and Local project
  • Provision of toolkits and resources
  • Networking platform
  • Capacity building for local government
  • Support academic research
  • Collaborating with industry to support professional development for musicians
  • Collaborative partnerships with industry for strategic project development
  • Act as a hub through which issues can be canvassed
  • Assist government in developing strategic policy and regulation
  • Regular updates on trends and developments in each state and territory as well as international examples as they arise

There remains a significant need for better regulation and policy advocacy, for which the LMO was established to provide as a service to support both government and industry stakeholders, and will continue to do so across the 2019/2020 period.


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