In response to the University of Tasmania’s report released this week identifying the live music industry as a significant contributor to national and state economies, Music SA and the Live Music Office today release the Adelaide Live Music Census, which offers a snapshot of live music activity in May 2015.

Download The Adelaide Live Music Census 2015

“Findings show that 962 gigs were presented during May 2015 in Adelaide and outer suburbs across 157 venues, with Adelaide city providing the bulk of live music offerings.” said Music SA General Manager Lisa Bishop

“It demonstrates the degree to which musicians are given the opportunity to professionally perform and audiences are given an opportunity to access live music.”

This information comes in the wake of Arts Minister Jack Snelling announcing yesterday that in 2014, the live music scene contributed $263.7 million to South Australia’s economy, while nationally the industry brought approximately $15.7 billion to the economy and an estimated 65,000 full and part-time jobs.

During May 2015 hotels were the most significant venue type, providing 769 gigs across 108 venues, which totals 80% of gigs in Adelaide and 69% of venues.

The census results again reinforce the primary role of South Australian Hotels in supporting and facilitating a sustainable live music industry.” Said Ian Horne, General Manager/CEO of the Australian Hotels Association.

Other venues hosting live music included restaurants, entertainment venues, clubs and small venues.

It’s pleasing to note that there are venues showcasing original contemporary music, which made up 35% of the gigs during May.” says Lisa Bishop “The diversity in venues offers a richer audience experience that allows venues to bring their own fundamental character to the night time economy. Everything from The Dunes at the boutique Grace Emily to The Zep Boys at the stalwart Arkaba.”

The information gathered for the 2015 census will provide a valuable benchmark that will be used to compare another census expected to take place in May of 2016. This will demonstrate whether any changes to liquor licensing will have an impact on the live music scene.

I encourage Adelaide residents to have a look at the census findings and see if there’s some live music happening near you. There are bands and musicians playing around who are as good as you will find anywhere.” said Live Music Office Policy Director John Wardle

In May 2015 Music SA and the Live Music Office undertook a census of live music of licensed premises in greater Adelaide, to take a snapshot of the state of play. Compiled by local DJ Luke Penman of Radio Adelaide and Music SA, data was gathered from venue websites and social media pages, gig guides such as Rip It Up and Live at Your Local. Further information was sourced through word of mouth, working the phones as well as Music SA and industry contacts.

The State Government’s Music Development Office and the National Live Music Office provided financial assistance for the project, which was commissioned by the Music Industry Council (MIC).


  • 962 gigs were presented
  • 157 venues hosted live music
  • Hotels provided 796 gigs across 108 venues (79.9% of gigs and 68.7% of venues)
  • There were 17 gigs across 3 entertainment venues, 39 gigs in 8 clubs and 17 gigs in 6 restaurants
  • Gigs were 35% original songs and 65% covers
  • Adelaide City provided the most live music
  • 11 of the Special Circumstance licenses were hotels

Organisations involved:

Music SA champions original contemporary music in South Australia. Music SA is a not for profit organisation who have, for the last 18 years, been helping to build a thriving, sustainable and globally-acknowledged music industry in our state.

Music Development Office

The South Australian Government has set up the Music Development Office as a collaborative union of ‘Arts’ and ‘Industry Development’, with strategies in place to support the ongoing development of the contemporary music industry in South Australia.

The Music Industry Council

The Music Industry Council (MIC) is SA’s newly formed leading music industry advisory body. Comprising key music industry stakeholders, MIC was established in 2014 as a direct response to recommendations within the State Government’s Thinker in Residence, Martin Elbourne’s final report into “The Future of Live Music in SA”. MIC membership comprises high level key music industry participants including venues, agents, performers and producers as well as state and local government representatives.

Live Music Office

The Live Music Office works to increase opportunities for live music in Australia by identifying and advocating for better policy, regulation and strategy. Established by the Federal Government, in partnership with APRA AMCOS, the Live Music Office was set up to review the impact of policy frameworks on the Australian live music sector. Our scope includes planning, licensing and regulatory policies, as well as cultural, audience and market development strategies.

Telstra RTD Wheatsheaf 2014 Helen Page Photography1W6A8202_1

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