Live music provides 25,000 jobs and contributes an economic output of $5.5 billion to the NSW economy, first-of-its-kind research has found.

The first State of the Scene report, to be released this week, confirms NSW is Australia’s music powerhouse. With 55 dedicated live music venues, 453 regular and ongoing venues, 56 large-scale multipurpose venues and 231 venues that offer live music as an ancillary function, the report confirms there are now 795 live venues areas across NSW.

This report provides an important baseline for the sector and for the NSW Government to continue to build upon. The State of the Scene report acted as the first-ever census of live music in NSW, using feedback from 750 industry participants and 550 members of the public who attend live music gigs.

Feedback from industry in the development of the inaugural State of the Scene report also revealed several barriers to growth for the sector, including:

• a high-cost environment impacting financial viability of live music venues, including costof-living pressure for audiences;

• regulatory red tape reducing operating capacity of venues; • expensive pricing and security environments for venue operators;

• changing audience behaviours and fragmented media landscape;

• complex government policy and grant schemes;

• lack of mid-career growth opportunities and reduction in youth live music spaces and all ages events;

• access and inclusivity; and

• public transportation.

The 2024-25 Budget will build on the NSW Government’s commitment to building better, more vibrant communities, with more than $45.4 million in funding for strategic support for artists and live venues through funding to Sound NSW and the Office of the 24-Hour Commissioner.

The Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner will receive $26.9 million to empower the night-time economy industry and local councils through regulatory reform, grants programs, precinctbased initiatives, digital tools and other support to help create diverse, safe, and vibrant communities across NSW.

This will enable the Office to support communities and businesses across the state - those that make our cities lively and exciting, employ people and contribute to a culturally rich, diverse, inclusive, and innovative nightlife.

Sound NSW will continue to build and support the role that the contemporary music industry plays in the night-time economy, with $18.5 million to deliver programs that drive audience and international market development, strengthen the live music ecosystem and champion NSW artists and stories.

Combined, these investments will make it fairer and easier for businesses, artists, and communities to develop and support their music cultures and night-time precincts. That means less red tape, reduced risk of getting shut down by unfair complaints and removing hidden costs to give certainty and to encourage communities and businesses to innovate.

Minister for Music and the Night-Time Economy, John Graham said: "We have never known the full number of venues or had a clear picture of their economic impact of live music in NSW.

"Now we want to grow that number. “What this shows is not only the number of venues that offer live music across the state, but the different types of venues and the important roles they play in their community, as well as the enormous social, economic impacts and jobs the industry provides.

“Without knowing this detail, it’s impossible to grow. This data will allow Government to better respond to industry and audience needs, and target bringing more venues online which may currently have the capacity to offer live music but aren’t doing so.

“Contemporary music and the night time economy are pivotal threads in the creative and economic fabric of our society. That is why we’re investing over $45 million into both music and the night-time economy in the 2024-25 Budget.”