The live music sector has interaction with government at local, state and federal levels across cultural, regulatory and built environment policy.

Venues operate within a co-regulatory framework. Often there is a lack of alignment, information and transparency across the various hoops that you have to jump through before you can operate a venue or host an event.

Liquor licensing, planning and environmental protection guidelines are determined at the state level, for example. Whereas local planning controls, development consent for venues, loading conditions for venues and events approvals lie with local government.

There are significant differences nationally between states and territories in how regulations are applied, as well as how resources are allocated to grants and sector development strategies.

There’s much to learn from each other in how best to support the live music sector across what are complex and challenging areas. Local government areas such as Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne, Marrickville/Leichhardt and Adelaide have prepared Live Music Acton Plans to prepare local solutions for local issues and resources which can deliver short term results whilst supporting better policy and regulation from state governments.

Currently the biggest regulatory barriers to the development of the live music sector in Australia are in Queensland with the operation of the noise restrictions under the Queensland Liquor Act 1992. Acting as a default prohibition against live music and performance, no other states apply this red tape to musicians and the creative sector.

These issues are discussed further throughout these policy pages.