Live Sector Injects $1.21B

Live music activists are gearing up to lobby the Australian government for more breaks for local musicians.

An Ernst & Young study estimated that the live music industry injected A$1.21 billion (US$1.25b) into the national economy in 2009-10.
The “Economic Contribution Of The Venue-Based Live Music Industry In Australia” report, released Sept. 19, was commissioned by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA).

The first national study of the value of live music in Australia, it estimates the sector turned over total profits and wages of A$652 million.

Live music was responsible for 15,000 full-time jobs and drew 41.97 million patrons who attended 328,000 live music performances at 3,904 venues in that period.

An earlier Ernst & Young study, commissioned by peak association Live Performance Australia, valued the wider Australian live entertainment industry – including opera, theatre, dance and circus – at A$3 billion.

With news of such impressive contribution to the economy, live sector lobby groups are calling on government to repay the sector.

Save Live Australian Music (SLAM) wants tax revenue derived from venues and the sale of liquor to go to a fund to assist the careers of young musicians.

SLAM also wants a change in tax incentives to generate private investment in the development of the arts.

Melbourne-based peak association Music Victoria pointed out that studies showed that the bulk of original musicians earn a pre-tax average of A$19,500 per year and need more funding.

Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan announced the association is looking at ways to finance similar studies on the regional touring circuit, festivals and radio to work out their impact on young musical careers.

“Music Victoria is currently working on strategies to stimulate the Victorian regional touring circuit to help restore it to its former glory,” Donovan said.