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Government Tables Inquiry Into Australia's Live Music Industry

31 March 2024 | 1:05 am | Mary Varvaris

Interested organisations and individuals can make their voices heard by 30 April 2024.

Falls Festival Byron Bay

Falls Festival Byron Bay (Credit: Kurt Petersen)

More Splendour In The Grass More Splendour In The Grass

Following the cancellation of Splendour In The Grass, Australia’s House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts will launch an inquiry into the Australian live music industry.

With plans to explore the “challenges and opportunities” the industry faces, as well as sustainability in the music industry, the House of Representatives urges music industry workers to be open about the barriers affecting growth, “including to exports, the impact of current grant and support programs and capacity building in the sector,” per Arts Hub.

Interested organisations and individuals can make their voices heard by 30 April 2024. For more information about contributing to the inquiry, visit the Parliament of Australia website.

The Australian Government showed its commitment to supporting the country’s music industry by launching the National Cultural Policy, Revive, and vowed to help revitalise the sector after the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But since Revive was introduced, numerous music festivals have been cancelled this year, proving that the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis, massive international tours from Taylor Swift, P!nk, and Blink-182 happening simultaneously, making punters pickier with their cash, expensive insurance, the low Aussie dollar, exporting costs, hiring police, and increased costs to host festivals have made the situation unsustainable.

Along with Splendour In The Grass, Groovin The MooCoastal JamTent Pole, ValleyWaysNow & Again, and Fairbridge also cancelled this year. The upcoming Pandemonium Rocks festival has also been hit with reports of impending cancellation. However, promoters of that event have staunchly denied them. Meanwhile, Wanderer announced that it’s moved to a biennial format, while Falls and Dark Mofo have taken breaks in 2023 and 2024.

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“Australia’s live music industry is currently facing considerable operational challenges,” the Chair of the Committee, Brian Mitchell MP, commented in a statement. “In the last couple of years, after the reopening of live music venues and festivals post-COVID lockdowns, we have seen the sector face new and unprecedented issues.

“Some common struggles include the rising costs of presenting live music, shifting consumer behaviours, the loss of skilled workers in the industry, and cost of living ramifications. We will be exploring sustainability and growth in the Australian music industry into the future, domestically and internationally.”

Mitchell added, “The industry sits on the cusp of transformation, and it is important that opportunities are harnessed while the traditional community nature of experiencing a live event is retained.”