• music

23 April 2018

During last week’s sold out Music Cities Convention, Music Victoria announced the complete findings from the 2017 Melbourne Live Music Census, to over 300 music industry leaders from across the globe.

Melbourne Music Week

Melbourne Music Week 2017. Photo: Jess Middleton

The Melbourne Live Music Census looked at a variety of subjects and issues around the state of live music in Victoria, addressing the health of the industry, the dollar value, patron attendance, safety and inclusion and the audience share compared to other recreational activities.

In 2017, Greater Melbourne hosted more than 73,605 advertised gigs compared to 62,000 in 2012, representing a 19% increase. Melbourne’s live music performances, attracting a patronage exceeding 17.5 million visits and accounting for more than $1.42 billion spent in small venues and at concerts and festivals in 2017, represented a 16% increase on the $1.22 billion spent in 2012.

The census has found, among other key figures, that on each Saturday night Melbourne’s live music venues can boast the equivalent audience of an AFL Grand Final with around 112,000 attendees to local gigs and concerts across the city.

The live music scene is also a major contributor to Melbourne’s employment with Music Victoria estimating that the 73,000 gigs recorded in 2017 directly created more than 18,300 part-time jobs for musicians, venue and security staff, public and private transport workers and more.

The study, which involved more than 2000 respondents, showed that:
  • 2017 live music attendance of 17.5 million - increase of 12% from 15.6 million in 2012
  • 55% of live music venues reported that their audience had increased in the past 12 months. (Only 16% recorded a decrease)
  • In 2017 the census confirmed that greater Melbourne had 553 venues that hosted live music performances - of those 464 were classified as ‘regular’, compared with 465 in 2012
  • More music fans in Melbourne listen to community/public radio stations Triple RRR, PBS FM and Triple J, than any commercial station.  This happens in no other major city in the world.
  • Twenty-five years ago, a loaf of bread cost on average $0.28.  The average cost is now $2.38.  The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that, since that time, incomes have grown annually by 4%, except for musicians — artists are being paid the same fee for gigs in 2017 that they were paid twenty-five years ago.
  • The annual audience for live music in Melbourne (17.5 million) is nearly triple that for all major sports games in Melbourne combined (6.5 million)
  • Musicians cited the main barrier to their music practice is financial viability (47%) with 69% of respondents said that their music earning does not cover the costs of their music practice
  • The main problems affecting holding live music events is due to noise restrictions (67%) and property developments (47%)
  • Melbourne has one live music venue per 9,503 residents, making Melbourne the live music capital of the world

Visit Music Victoria for more