AN OPEN LETTER TO THE NSW STATE GOVERNMENT FROM LIVE MUSIC VENUES ACROSS NSW.

Live music in NSW is under threat. Unless there is immediate government intervention, we risk losing 85% of the state’s live music venues within the next 12 months.

With the biggest music industry in the country, NSW is home to some of Australia’s greatest artists and performers, biggest crowds and world-class stages. Our music creates a sense of pride, gives us a voice, introduces us to new ideas, new friends, new hope. Live music is our lifeblood and our lifeline in times of crisis.

But now live music in NSW is on the verge of collapse. From a survey of just 47 music venues, over $70M in earnings has been lost in just six months, and they are accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt as restrictions continue to limit their business viability. After six years of lockout laws, devastating bushfires and now the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19, the venues that have survived through hard work and ingenuity can no longer do it alone.

This is not just about live music – venues build community, boost the economy, improve wellbeing, and drive tourism. And importantly, they provide artists with places to share their music with fans and find new audiences.

Live performance is essential to an artist’s career development and makes up around 70% of their music income. Without stages to play on, artistic careers in NSW will become almost impossible to maintain, and an industry which employs 23,000 people and contributes $3.6B to NSW’s economy will crumble.

The Queensland and Victorian Governments have already committed millions of dollars in support to their venues, but the NSW government has yet to act.

We call on the NSW Government to work with MusicNSW and industry representatives to devise a stimulus package that will ensure the ongoing survival of our venues. A package that will support the artists and communities who depend on live music for their existence. A package which will safeguard the future of our industry. A package that will Save Our Stages.

WHO ARE WE?

We are a collection of independent music venues from across New South Wales. Our stages welcome artists from across the state, from around the country and from all corners of the globe. We are the places where communities come together for a shared experience, to enjoy music, to dance, to meet friends, to meet new people, to meet lovers, to work. We celebrate our artists and provide them with the space to hone their craft, meet their fans and grow their careers.

We are working together for our survival. There is simply too much at stake.

THE VENUES

107 Projects, Redfern. Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul. Bargo Sports Club, Bargo. Batlow Hotel, Batlow. Beach Hotel, Byron Bay. Botany View Hotel, Newtown. Brunswick Picture House, Brunswick. Butcher’s Brew, Dulwich Hill. Camelot Lounge, Marrickville. Candelo Hotel, Candelo. Civic Underground, Sydney. Commercial Hotel, Parramatta. Crowbar, Leichhardt. Django Bar, Marrickville. Doodle Cooma Arms Hotel, Henty. Foundry616, Ultimo. Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney. Frank’s Wild Years, Thirroul. Freda’s, Chippendale. Gasoline Pony, Marrickville. Grand Junction – The Junkyard, Maitland. Home The Venue, Sydney. Howl and Moan Records, Byron Bay. Hustle and Flow Bar, Redfern. Knox St Bar, Chippendale. La La La’s, Wollongong. Lazybones, Marrickville. Lord Gladstone, Chippendale. Low 302, Surry Hills. Manning Bar, Camperdown. Marrickville Bowling Club, Marrickville. Mary’s Underground, Circular Quay. Max Watts, Moore Park. Milton Theatre, Milton. Moruya Waterfront Hotel, Moruya. MoshPit, Erskineville. Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall, Mullumbimby. Navigate Arts, Tanja. New England Hotel, Armidale. North Wollongong Hotel, North Wollongong. Northies – Red Steer Hotel, Cartwrights Hill. Old 505 Theatre, Newtown. Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham. Roundhouse, Kensington. Shakespeare Hotel, Surry Hills. Smokey Horse, Braidwood. Snow Goose, Adaminaby. Spring Street Social, Bondi. Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield. Star Court Theatre, Lismore. Tathra Hotel, Tathra. The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay. The Bearded Tit, Redfern. The Bridge, Pyrmont. The Commercial Hotel, Junee. The Concourse, Chatswood. The Enmore Theatre, Enmore. The Factory Theatre, Marrickville. The Federal Hotel, Bellingen. The Imperial, Erskineville. The Junkyard, Maitland. The Lansdowne Hotel, Chippendale. The Lord Gladstone, Chippendale. The Marlborough Hotel, Newtown. The Metro Theatre, Sydney. The Newsagency, Camperdown. The Northern, Byron Bay. The Red Rattler, Marrickville. The Snow Goose Hotel, Adaminaby. The Studio, Armidale. The Town Hall Hotel, Newtown. The Vanguard, Newtown. Tokyo Sing Song, Newtown. Tumut River Brewing Co., Tumut. Two Fingers Gentlemen’s Bar, Albury. UOW Unibar, Wollongong. Valve Bar and Venue, Sydney. Venue 505, Newtown. Wagga Wagga Boat Club, Wagga Wagga. Wayward’s at The Bank, Newtown.

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