Live Music Office Update: Cool Little Capital

Thursday, 12 Nov 2015

In their recent report, Cool Little Capital, the Live Music Office and MusicACT have called upon the territory government to mobilise live music strategy to support music sector development in the Canberra region.

Although there are opportunities in the ACT for musicians to perform and there is strong demand for attendance at events, artists, event producers and venues face hurdles from both red tape and poor alignment of regulation.

The report calls for the development of an ACT Government Live Music Policy and the introduction of a new planning process specifically for low risk arts and cultural venues. 

Through music sector consultation, the Live Music Office and MusicACT were able to identify the following hurdles:

  • liquor licensing
  • complicated events approval process
  • lack of medium size (capacity 200-400) venues and 
  • a decline in national/international touring acts coming to the ACT.

Cool Little Capital provides an overview of the state of live music in the ACT and relevant case studies and suggests solutions: 

  • an ACT model for pop-up venues and low risk entertainment use 
  • re-use of buildings for creative use
  • Liquor permit exemptions for non-profit community organisations at up to six small fundraising events annually
  • Introduction of a liquor permit scheme whereby a single applicant can present a number of creative events under a multi-location limited permit.

MusicACT President Gavin Findlay said, “It’s well past time our planners, developers, regulators and policy makers recognised the vital role that live music and cultural events play in creating a vibrant, attractive city, and that red tape is stifling our creativity.”

“With the help of the Live Music Office, we’ve put forward a realistic set of policy and actions that would give the ACT the regulatory framework it needs to really be the Coolest Little Capital,” Gavin said.

Live Music Office Policy Director, John Wardle said, “In many ways, the issues being faced by artists and venues in the ACT reflect those in other urban centres nationally. But with better regulation and a better alignment of government agencies and processes the creative sector in the ACT will grow.”

The report and supporting research can be downloaded from the MusicACT website (and The Live Music Office website).

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