Data Offers Hope

A Deloitte Access Economics report revealed that the live music sector contributed A$501 million (US$518m) per year to the state of Victoria’s (Australia) economy. This is the type of hard data industry execs have longed for in hopes of obtaining further government support.

The state generates 3,000 gigs a week, while its main city of Melbourne has the largest amount of venues in any Australian city, with 370.
The most significant figure, given the sports-mad nature of Aussies, was that in a 12-month period, 5.4 million fans attended a concert, compared with the 4.3 million who went to Australian Football League matches.

Patrick Donovan, CEO of contemporary music peak body Music Victoria, told Pollstar that finally getting economic data would make it easier to tap all levels of government for funding.

For instance, Music Victoria can now approach different government departments to factor concerts into musicians’ social security payments, aid the struggling regional touring circuit and promote music’s role in combating suicides.

Lobby groups Fair Go 4 Live Music and SLAM urged the Federal government to provide tax breaks for private investment, change the criteria of its arts funding body which gives $71.2m ($73.6m) to classical music and opera and $12.2m ($12.6m) to other styles of music, and to use a portion of taxes from venues for a fund to help musicians develop careers.

The report painted a bleak picture of lower-end musicians. They earn on average $19,500 per year, $13,500 of which coming from gigs.