Defining Live Entertainment
Across Australia and Internationally, various regulatory bodies have created definitions of ‘entertainment’ in order to provide for not only restrictive but also supportive ways to regulate live music, performance, and other forms of entertainment.
This issue has received wider attention following on from the NSW Governments decision to provide for later operating hours for venues providing live entertainment from those operating general licensed premises under lockout restrictions.
In their submission to the Callinan Review of the Sydney CBD ‘Lockouts’, the Live Music Office and MusicNSW proposed the following:
Live Music Office/MusicNSW Definition for Review of the Sydney CBD ‘Lockouts
When considering the operation of a licensed entertainment premises for removing the 1:30am lockout or 3:am cease service we would suggest that the following criteria be recognised
Premises in respect of which the primary business or activity is the provision of entertainment to members of the public by a person (or persons) who are physically present on the premises and are actually providing the entertainment.
“live entertainment” means—
(a) event at which a person (or persons) is/are employed or engaged to play music (live or pre-recorded); or
(b) a performance at which the performers, or at least some of them, are present in person; or
(c) a performance of a kind declared by regulation to be live entertainment;
“The premises must not operate solely as a nightclub and shall be a venue which has a market orientation toward art, live performances, and supporting cultural events and endeavours.
Additional indicators of primary purpose live music arts and cultural presentation would comprise ticketing for events, APRA AMCOS licensing, involvement in festivals as well as previous operating history.
If we look to existing definitions within Australia,
“public entertainment venue” means any of the following:
(a) a cinema,
(b) a theatre,
(c) premises in respect of which the primary business or activity is the provision of entertainment to members of the public by a person who is physically present on the premises and is actually providing the entertainment.
“live entertainment” means—
(a) a dance or other similar event at which a person is employed or engaged to play music (live or pre-recorded); or
(b) a performance at which the performers, or at least some of them, are present in person; or
(c) a performance of a kind declared by regulation to be live entertainment;
LIQUOR ACT 1992 – SECT 4AA
(1) Entertainment, for a subsidiary on-premises licence for which the principal activity is the provision of entertainment, means entertainment provided by a person—
(a) who is physically present when providing the entertainment; and
(b) whose function is to present the entertainment.
(2) However, entertainment, for a subsidiary on-premises licence for which the principal activity is the provision of entertainment, does not include entertainment using facilities that do not require a person present to provide the entertainment.
Examples of facilities that do not require a person to be present—
1 pool tables
42 . Nightclub licence, effect and conditions of
(1) Subject to this Act the licensee of a nightclub licence is, during permitted hours, authorised to sell liquor on the licensed premises, for consumption on the licensed premises only, ancillary to continuous entertainment provided live by one or more artists present in person performing there or by way of recorded music presented personally by a person employed or engaged by the licensee to do so.
(2) For the purpose of determining whether or not entertainment is continuous, no account shall be taken of reasonable intervals between acts, or between the performances of artists, so long as substantial compliance with the requirement for continuity is observed.
(3) Every nightclub licence is subject to the condition that liquor shall not be permitted to be consumed on the licensed premises except at a time when live entertainment is being provided there and liquor may be lawfully sold under the licence, unless an extended trading permit applies.
Conditions can also be imposed through Town Planning controls for permissible land use
The Oxford Art Factory conditions of consent in Sydney are an existing approval with these provisions.
Your development consent D/2006/645/G is to permit an entertainment venue which is defined under the relevant Environmental Planning Instrument as an entertainment facility means a theatre, cinema, music hall, concert hall, dance hall and the like, but does not include a pub or registered club.
The consent contains specific detailed conditions as to how the premises are to operate under condition 1(c) detailed below.
After 9.00pm until close at least 2 different forms of entertainment (excluding stationary art exhibitions) shall take place such as live music, theatre, cabaret, burlesque, vaudeville, dance, comedy, spoken word, poetry recitals, art house cinema, art exhibitions, fashion shows, special events, functions and DJs. For the purpose of clarity, this condition does not require the provision of 2 continuous and simultaneous forms of entertainment between 9.00pm and closing. The premises must not operate solely as a nightclub and shall be a venue which has a market orientation towards art, live performances, and supporting cultural events and endeavours.
I also note that condition 9 of development consent D/2006/645/G requires compliance with a Plan of Management. Clause 9 of the Plan of Management states as follows.
The premises must not operate solely as a nightclub and shall be a venue which has a market orientation toward art, live performances, and supporting cultural events and endeavours.
UK Licensing Act 2003
2(1)The descriptions of entertainment are—
(a)a performance of a play,
(b)an exhibition of a film,
(c)an indoor sporting event,
(d)a boxing or wrestling entertainment,
(e)a performance of live music,
(f)any playing of recorded music,
(g)a performance of dance,
(h)entertainment of a similar description to that falling within paragraph (e), (f) or (g),
where the entertainment takes place in the presence of an audience and is provided for the purpose, or for purposes which include the purpose, of entertaining that audience.
(2)Any reference in sub-paragraph (1) to an audience includes a reference to spectators.
(3)This paragraph is subject to Part 3 of this Schedule (interpretation).
3(1)In this Schedule, “entertainment facilities” means facilities for enabling persons to take part in entertainment of a description falling within sub-paragraph (2) for the purpose, or for purposes which include the purpose, of being entertained.
(2)The descriptions of entertainment are—
(c)entertainment of a similar description to that falling within paragraph (a) or (b).
(3)This paragraph is subject to Part 3 of this Schedule (interpretation).
NRS 368A.090 “Live entertainment” defined.
1. “Live entertainment” means any activity provided for pleasure, enjoyment, recreation, relaxation, diversion or other similar purpose by a person or persons who are physically present when providing that activity to a patron or group of patrons who are physically present.
2. The term:
(a) Includes, without limitation, any one or more of the following activities:
(1) Music or vocals provided by one or more professional or amateur musicians or vocalists;
(2) Dancing performed by one or more professional or amateur dancers or performers, including, without limitation, dancing performed by one or more persons who are nude or partially nude;
(3) Acting or drama provided by one or more professional or amateur actors or players;
(4) Acrobatics or stunts provided by one or more professional or amateur acrobats, performers or stunt persons;
(5) Animal stunts or performances induced by one or more animal handlers or trainers, except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (3) of paragraph (b);
(6) Athletic or sporting contests, events or exhibitions provided by one or more professional or amateur athletes, sportsmen or sportswomen;
(7) Comedy or magic provided by one or more professional or amateur comedians, magicians, illusionists, entertainers or performers;
(8) A show or production involving any combination of the activities described in subparagraphs (1) to (7), inclusive;
(9) A performance by a disc jockey who presents recorded music; and
(10) An escort who is escorting one or more persons at a location or locations in this State.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, excludes, without limitation, any one or more of the following activities:
(1) Television, radio, closed circuit or Internet broadcasts of live entertainment;
(2) Entertainment provided by a patron or patrons, including, without limitation, singing by patrons or dancing by or between patrons;
(3) Animal behaviors induced by animal trainers or caretakers primarily for the purpose of education and scientific research;
(4) An activity that is an uncompensated, spontaneous performance that is not longer than 20 minutes during a 60-minute period;
(5) An activity described in subparagraphs (1) to (8), inclusive, of paragraph (a) that does not constitute a performance, including, without limitation, go-go dancing; or
(6) Marketing or promotional activities, including, without limitation, dancing or singing that is for a period that does not exceed 20 minutes during a 60-minute period and that is associated with the serving of food and beverages.
3. The exclusions set forth in paragraph (b) of subsection 2 do not apply to an activity provided by a nonprofit religious, charitable, fraternal or other organization that qualifies as a tax-exempt organization pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 501(c), or by a nonprofit corporation organized or existing under the provisions of chapter 82 of NRS, when the number of tickets to the activity offered for sale or other distribution is 15,000 or more.
4. As used in this section, “person who is nude or partially nude” means a natural person with any of the following less than completely or opaquely covered:
(a) His or her genitals;
(b) The pubic region; or
(c) A female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola.
SF Police Code:
Place of Entertainment
SEC. 1060. DEFINITIONS.
For the purpose of this Article, the following words and phrases shall mean and include:
(a) “Place of Entertainment.” Every premises to which patrons or members are admitted which serves food, beverages, or food and beverages, including but not limited to alcoholic beverages, for consumption on the premises and wherein entertainment as defined in Subsections (b), (c), or (e) is furnished or occurs upon the premises.
(b) “Entertainment.” Any act, play, review, pantomime, scene, song, dance act, song and dance act, or poetry recitation, conducted or participated in by any professional entertainer in or upon any premises to which patrons or members are admitted.
“Entertainment,” in addition, is defined to mean and include the playing upon or use by any professional entertainer of any instrument that is capable of or can be used to produce musical sounds or percussion sounds, including but not limited to,reed, brass, percussion or string-like instruments, or recorded music presented by a live disc jockey on the premises.
(c) “Entertainment,” Continued. “Entertainment” also includes a fashion or style show in which the models are professional entertainers, except when conducted by a bona fide nonprofit club or organization as a part of the social activities of such club or organization, and when conducted solely as a fundraising activity for charitable purposes.
(d) “Professional Entertainer.” A person who is compensated for his or her performance.
(e) “Entertainment,” Continued; Exhibition of Human Body. “Entertainment” also includes the act of any female professional entertainer, while visible to any customer, who exposes the breast or employs any device or covering which is intended to simulate the breast, or wears any type of clothing so that the breast may be observed.
(f) “Person.” Any person, individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, social club, fraternal organization, joint stock company, corporation, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, trustee, syndicate or any other group or combination acting as a unit excepting the United States of America, the State of California, and any political subdivision of either thereof.
(g) “Operator.” Any person operating a place of entertainment in the City and County of San Francisco, including, but not limited to, the owner or proprietor of such premises, lessee, sublessee, mortgagee in possession, permittee or any other person operating such place of entertainment or amusement.
(h) “Bona Fide Nonprofit Club or Organization.” Any fraternal, charitable, religious or benevolent, or any other nonprofit organization having a regular membership association primarily for mutual social, mental, political and civic welfare, to which admission is limited to members and guests and revenue accruing therefrom shall be used exclusively for the benevolent purposes of said organization and which organization or agency is exempt from taxation under the Internal Revenue laws of the United States as a bona fide fraternal, charitable, religious, benevolent or nonprofit organization.
(i) “Admission Charge.” Any charge for the right or privilege to enter any place of entertainment including a minimum service charge, a cover charge or a charge made for the use of seats and tables, reserved or otherwise.
Baltimore City Code
(C) ENTERTAINMENT: LIVE.
16 (1) GENERAL.
17 “ENTERTAINMENT: LIVE” MEANS 1 OR MORE OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING, PERFORMED LIVE BY
18 1 OR MORE PERSONS, WHETHER OR NOT DONE FOR COMPENSATION AND WHETHER OR NOT
19 ADMISSION IS CHARGED:
20 (I) MUSICAL ACT, INCLUDING KARAOKE;
21 (II) THEATRICAL ACT, INCLUDING A PLAY, REVUE, OR STAND-UP COMEDY;
22 (III) DANCE;
23 (IV) MAGIC ACT;
24 (V) DISC JOCKEY; OR
25 (VI) SIMILAR ACTIVITY.
26 (2) EXCLUSIONS.
28 “ENTERTAINMENT: LIVE” DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY ADULT USE.
Entertainment Consent and The South Australian Liquor Act
South Australia is the only state in Australia where the Liquor Licensing Commissioner regulates genres of music as well as what types of musical instruments are allowed in licensed premises through a duplicate licensing process.
In order for licensed premises in South Australia to be able to host live music, they must submit an Entertainment Consent Application which specifies what days and times the live music will be presented, as well as what types of music can be played.
Licence conditions are enforced by the South Australian Police.
To give an idea of how these conditions work, here’s just a couple of examples of South Australian liquor licenses.
- The OOSTENDE BELGIAN BEER CAFE. Condition 12. Approved instruments include and specify Harps and Didgeridoo
- The OVERWAY HOTEL. Condition 4. “There shall be no rock/heavy metal bands/disco music.”
- The 2006 HIGHER GROUND Entertainment Venue Licence (EVL). Condition 3 (ii). Approved genres specify “Andean, Ancient Greek, Christian Country, Indian Asian, Latin Freestyle, Gregorian Chant, Medieval, Opera, Polka, Blue Grass (two words…)”
The question here is about what are the regulations trying to genuinely achieve? Is it about ensuring that live music does not have an amenity impact on the surrounding area? or is it about the community deciding what musical genres and instruments are approved by the people of South Australia.
In NSW in 2009 the state government abolished the Place of Public Entertainment (PoPE) development consent process which had a very similar function to the current South Australian Entertainment Consent provisions. NSW pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and small bars can now have live music and performance without any separate approval, as is the case in Victoria and other states.
Along with changes to liquor licensing in NSW at the same time, the removal of the separate entertainment consent has had a fantastic result in NSW, with new restaurants and small bars now presenting live music and hotels also returning to bands and live entertainment. The transition of cutting red tape has happened without causing disturbance to the quiet and good order of the neighbourhood because there are other processes to deal with noise from licensed premises.
South Australian Entertainment Consent provisions are actually a third level of regulation to address amenity impacts. As in most other states and territories, there are both noise complaints provisions under the liquor act as well as environmental protection processes that can also deal with sound emissions.
- The Environment Protection (Noise) Policy 2007 (the Noise EPP) – See also the South Australian EPA website references
- Liquor licensing has direction to licensees on mitigating noise and disturbances
South Australia also has Order of Occupancy provisions in liquor licensing complaints process.
LIQUOR LICENSING ACT 1997 – SECT 106
106—Complaint about noise etc emanating from licensed premises
(6) In hearing and determining a complaint under this section, the Commissioner or the Court, as the case may be—
(a) must give the complainant, the licensee and any other person whom the Commissioner or the Court thinks fit to hear an opportunity to be heard; and
(b) must take into account—
(i) the relevant history of the licensed premises in relation to other premises in the vicinity and, in particular, the period of time over which the activity, noise or behaviour complained about has been occurring and any significant change at any relevant time in the level or frequency at which it has occurred; and
(ii) the unreasonableness or otherwise of the activity, noise or behaviour complained about; and
(iii) the trading hours and character of the business carried out by the licensee on the licensed premises; and
(iv) the desired future character of the locality in which the licensed premises are situated as stated in any relevant Development Plan under the Development Act 1993 ; and
(v) whether or not any environment protection policy made under Part 5 of the Environment Protection Act 1993 , or guidelines published by the Environment Protection Authority established under that Act, applicable to the provision of live music on the licensed premises have been complied with; and
(vi) any other matter that the Commissioner or the Court considers relevant.
The removal of this provision in South Australian cultural policy would have a profound effect on the development of live music and performance in this state. Not just for Adelaide and urban communities but also for the wine regions, coastal destinations as well as country pubs doing it tough in remote areas.
Identified in the Thinkers report on page 113 as a priority for the South Australian live music sector, there can perhaps be no single greater reform than this to create a better live music future for South Australia. What is certain is that the type of local government policy development being done across NSW and regional Victoria with Live Music Taskforces could not be considered were this type of legislation in force. With Adelaide Council passing a live music plan in recent weeks as well as the establishment of MUSITEC, now is the time to make this change, and set a level playing field where entertainment provided by real people can co-exist equally alongside currently exempt entertainment from large screens and gaming.
Co-Regulation Partnerships – The Victorian Live Music Roundtable
Venues exist within a co-regulatory environment across liquor, planning and environmental protection laws. The usual practice is for these provisions to be developed without consideration of how they will interact with the other regulations.
The Live Music Roundtable established by the Victorian State Government brings all these parties together with the live music sector to identify issues and prepare informed policy responses.
This type of co-regulation partnership has precedents in other areas of government nationally, but not for the live music sector.
A similar model would be a most important initiative for other states and territories where recommendations for state law reform to better support the development of the local live music sector have been tabled. These include the Future of Music in South Australia – Thinkers in Residence Reverb Report by Martin Elbourne, ACT Standing Committee on Planning, Public Works and Territory and Municipal Services Inquiry into Live Community Events, and The City of Sydney Live Music and Performance Taskforce Action Plan.
With EPA Victoria and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries review of the two State Environment Protection Policies for noise underway, as well an evaluation and consideration of venue definitions as the agent-of-change provisions under planning guidelines commences, The Victorian Live Music Roundtable is being maintained after the 2014 election to ensure that the good work so far to support the Victorian live music sector continues.
Under 18’s Can Perform In Licensed Premises In NSW
Changes to NSW Liquor Laws in 2007 meant that under 18’s can now perform in licensed premises in NSW.
If you are a parent with children who are up to playing on the gig, or a teacher with promising young students who would benefit from performing and even earning a few dollars, the NSW Liquor Act 2007 has provisions to encourage young musicians to perform in licensed venues including hotels, clubs, restaurants and small bars – provided they are accompanied by a responsible adult.
Minor not to enter or remain in certain licensed premises
123 Minor not to enter or remain in certain licensed premises
(1) A minor must not:
(a) enter or remain in the bar area of a hotel or club premises, or
(b) enter or remain in a part of a hotel to which a minors area authorisation relates unless the minor is in the company of a responsible adult, or
(b1) enter or remain in a small bar during trading hours, or
(c) enter or remain in a licensed public entertainment venue unless:
(i) the minor is in the company of a responsible adult, or
(ii) a function is being held in the venue in accordance with a minors functions authorisation.
Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
(3) A minor does not commit an offence under subsection (1) (a) if the minor:
(b) is performing in a show or other live entertainment performance held in the bar area,
and is in the company of a responsible adult while in the bar area.
Operation Of The Noise Restrictions from the QLD Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation
The operation of the noise restrictions from the QLD Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation was the fundamental issue for musicians and venues outside the Fortitude Valley Special Entertainment Precinct in Brisbane and in greater Queensland in forums and contact with the Live Music Office in 2014.
Musicians and venues identified a number of problematic aspects of the operation of these provisions including the very low baseline of 75dba for assessment of decibel limits and mandatory acoustic reports as well as integrity/consistency challenges with the application and enforcement of licence conditions on venues.
These findings echo the issues tabled in two 2013 reviews of the operation of these provisions in the Liquor Act 1992.
In February 2013 the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General released the Red Tape Reduction And Other Reform Proposals For Regulation Of Liquor And Gaming Discussion Paper, with the associated section 2.5 Noise controls over liquor licensed premises.
Section 2.5.4 Options and Impacts notes that:
It is proposed that noise restrictions under the Liquor Act 1992 and the enforcement of noise restrictions be reviewed. Because a review is proposed, no options are put forth.
The Government is seeking views on:
- How is noise from licensed premises best regulated, particularly in regard to the current definition and methodology relating to the concept of “unreasonable noise”?
- Who is the appropriate body to deal with noise complaints in regard to licensed premises – police, local council, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, or another body?
- Are the currently prescribed decibel limits still appropriate?
- Should decibel limits and mandatory acoustic reports be abolished?
- How might the interests of residents and licensed venues be best balanced in regard to noise?
Closing date for submissions was 15 March 2013, the 300 submissions can be read here.
Further integrity issues with the operation of the noise provisions in the Liquor Act were tabled with the December 2013 report by the Queensland Ombudsman, An investigation into the regulation of licensed premises by the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, with a series of adverse findings and an associated recommendation.
The Director-General seek legal advice and review the OLGR’s blanket practice of non-enforcement of noise licence conditions in the absence of a complaint.
Any red tape review of these provisions would have evaluated how similar functions in other states are addressed across licensing, planning and environmental protection regulation. In this context the 75dba decibel limits and mandatory acoustic reports for entertainment would be considered an unnecessary burden on the hospitality and entertainment industry and in particular on the artists themselves, and should be abolished.
At this time findings from the review are being prepared for the consideration of Government through the Department of Justice and Attorney General. To ensure that the importance of red tape reform of these regulations is recognised by the State Government, consideration should be given to undertaking a coordinated campaign by the live music and hospitality sector to raise this issue in the public domain.
A number of important steps could also be taken by the Queensland Government to move towards a more workable framework for the live music sector within the existing Liquor Act 1992 until the reform of these provisions is completed.
- A go-to person is appointed within the OLGR for the live music sector as a point of contact for compliance and operational issues.
- A go-to person at Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General undertaking the red tape review is appointed for the live music sector as a point of contact for the review of the noise provisions in the Liquor Act 1992.
- A communication is prepared for the live music and performance sector to inform them of the issues with the current operation of the noise provisions and the state of play of the associated review.
Order of Occupancy Consideration
Order of Occupancy consideration
Venues that host live entertainment are by nature vulnerable to noise complaints as well as the amenity issues that result from collective behaviour at performance times. The gentrification of traditional live music precincts has brought a loss of performance opportunities in local hotels. These are a result of noise complaints processes that did not take into account order of occupancy between the venue and the complainant, structural and material changes to either premises as well as any changes in the entertainment activity in the licensed premises undertaken over time.
Order of occupancy can be considered as a similar principle to “agent of change” (where the onus is on the party who has made the recent move, either by introducing music, or moving in next door) or “prior use” principles ( where the activity is indexed to the use of a premises such as a hotel for example, which whilst it may not host live entertainment all the time, has been a fixture in the local area, and there is a reasonable expectation that live entertainment is an activity you would normally associate with a consent for this type of land use.)
Whilst residents neighbouring venues certainly have the right to expect a reasonable amount of amenity, order of occupancy considerations in noise complaints processes can help protect against unreasonable expectations of what types of activity can be expected in inner city areas and where residential and hospitality industry venues are in close proximity to each other.
Consideration of structural changes
Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia are currently the only States which have a reference in the complaints process for liquor licensed premises where either party, as well as raising any change in activity over time, can also table the implications of any structural changes to either premises, whether the entertainment venue or neighbouring land uses.
Intensification of use protection
Complaints regulation and arbitration procedures that can assess any changes in entertainment activity over time offer protection to residents as well as consent authorities from any intensification of use arising in, for example, licensed cafes or restaurants, with small scale entertainment evolving into, say, high impact nightclubs.
As noted previously, Queensland , South Australia , New South Wales and Western Australia are currently the only States which have this type of context and flexibility in arbitration procedures for liquor licensed premises. This can be seen as a positive provision by both residents and licensees as it can give residents a forum in which to raise concerns if the entertainment is getting out of control, without killing the activity altogether.
Again, these provisions come under the general umbrella of “order of occupancy” considerations and are supported by a reference in the objects of the Act.
City of Sydney Live Music And Performance Taskforce
In March 2014 The City of Sydney Council unanimously endorsed a Live Music and Performance Action Plan that tabled 60 policies to better support live music in the City, and that are now integrating into the day to day operations of the cultural and regulatory operations of Council.
Chaired by Live Music Office Policy Director John Wardle, the City of Sydney Live Music and Performance Taskforce comprised of 10 highly experienced music policy experts from Sydney and interstate, as well as Council cultural, regulatory and youth services staff. The City of Sydney process immediately informed the establishment of a Live Music Taskforce in Wollongong in 2013, as well as the establishment of a joint Live Music Taskforce from the adjacent Councils of Leichhardt and Marrickville.
There are a list of important references from the Sydney process
Terms Of Reference See Report Appendix
The City of Sydney Live Music and Performance Taskforce Actions are:
- Review the Sydney Development Control Plan 2012 to optimise its support for live music and performance by identifying and protecting areas with strong traditions of live music and performance and by supporting areas where urban and cultural amenity can be improved by live music and performance activity
- Review City of Sydney planning controls to identify opportunities to streamline approval processes for small-scale and temporary live music and performance activity, including the development of definitions for small to medium-scale live music and performance and consideration of expanded “Exempt and Complying Development”provisions in the Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012.
- Advocate to the NSW Government to amend the SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 to include definitions and provisions for live music and performance.
- Establish a live music and performance liaison role that acts as first point of contact for regulatory enquiries and applications in relation to live music and performance.
- Develop information guides in multiple formats that provide specific information on the planning requirements and resources available for setting up a temporary or permanent live music or performance venue in the City of Sydney.
- Ensure that the review of Standard Conditions of Development Consent is informed by international best practice approaches in supporting local cultural activity and that any changes proposed to the City of Sydney Standard Conditions for Development Consent consider likely financial impacts on the live music and performance sector
- Advocate to the NSW Government for legislative reform to remove duplication and inconsistencies in the regulation of noise from live music and performance premises.
- Develop clearly defined and publicly available compliance guidelines for enacting compliance measures in response to amenity complaints against live music and performance venues, including consideration of the noise-related development consent conditions applied to the venue being investigated, consideration of order of occupancy, improved criteria for assessing “offensive noise”, processes for liaison staff to be informed of amenity disputes and processes to ensure that appropriate compliance decisions are made in relation to historic or out-dated consent conditions
- Ensure that the authority to commence compliance actions against live music and live performance venuesinvolving assessments of “offensive noise”are restricted to appropriate staff who are experienced and trained to assess and determine “offensive noise”, and that formal procedures reflect this.
- Regularly review compliance guidelines to ensure that all relevant staff are appropriately trained and informed of any relevant legal developments that impact the regulation of live music and performance.
- Implement an education and induction program about the City’s cultural priorities and support for live music for City of Sydney staff responsible for planning assessments, enforcement and compliance matters. This program will consist of training and annual refreshers about sector trends and issues affecting live music in Sydney, as well as the recommendations of this Taskforce and the priorities outlined in Creative City, OPEN Sydney and Sustainable Sydney 2030 documents.
- Provide options for alternate dispute resolution about live music and performance in the City of Sydney through the establishment of a formal mediation policy and pilot process that offers free, independent and confidential mediation services for resolving amenity complaints, in collaboration with NSW Police and the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing as appropriate
- Develop information guides in multiple formats that provide specific information on the processes, requirements and resources available for setting up a temporary or permanent live music or performance venue in the City of Sydney.
- Investigate partnership opportunities for dissemination of nationally relevant information relating to the Building Code of Australia
- Develop a pre-lodgement or advisory process (based on the Edinburgh “Temporary Theatre Licence”concept) involving City of Sydney building approvals, planning, health and building, and cultural strategy staff to support the creation of non-traditional and temporary live music and performance venues.
- In conjunction with the Victorian Live Music Roundtable, prepare a joint state submission to the Australian Building Codes Board proposing the adjustment of BCA categories and definitions to recognise hybrid-use spaces for cultural activity.
- In conjunction with the Victorian Live Music Roundtable, monitor the impacts of compliance with premises standards on the live music and performance sector, with a view to preparing a joint submission to the 2015 Review of the Premises Standards of the Building Code of Australia.
- Co-host a public symposium in partnership with the National Live Music Office in 2014 on the Building Code of Australia and the live music and performance sector. This forum will invite representatives from the Australian Building Codes Board, the City of Sydney, NSW Department of Planning and the creative sector to investigate compliance and affordability for live performance in small to medium-sized venues.
- Undertake research into design and construction standards for attenuation of audible low-frequency noise, with a view to implementing new standards within planning controls or conditions of consent.
- Advocate to the Australian Building Codes Board for the introduction of an Australian Standard for audible low-frequency noise for residential buildings and work with them to produce guidelines for designing building interiors that address noise occurring below 100 hertz.
- Work with the National Live Music Office and APRA|AMCOS to gather data and undertake geographically specific research into alcohol consumption and behaviour patterns at live music and performance venues.
- Propose biannual meetings with the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing and the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to discuss issues specifically related to the live music and performance sector.
- Invite the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing and the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to explore ways to align processes, minimise costs and establish clear timeframes for the establishment of new live music and performance venues or for the variation of trading conditions for existing venues.
- Invite the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing to develop complementary information resources for licensees that outline rights and responsibilities, pre-emptive and affordable noise attenuation techniques, and advice on developing and maintaining productive relationships with neighbours.
- Continue to advocate for greater transparency in the liquor licence decision-making process, including making meetings o the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority open to the public or, preferably, the establishment of a joint City and state government committee to jointly exercise planning and licensing powers in relation to significant applications for licensed premises
- Work with the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to jointly provide appropriate trading conditions for primary purpose live music and performance venues, including suitable trading hours and proportional security requirements, where supported by the outcomes of the research undertaken as part of action 3.1.1
- Continue to advocate for an increase in the allowable capacity for venues with small bar licenses from 60 to 120 people
- Advocate to the NSW Government to minimise the negative impacts of the Liquor Amendment Bill 2014 on live music and performance and consider exemptions for primary purpose live music and performance venues in relation to the liquor freeze and liquor licensing saturation management tools.
- Advocate to the OLGR for simplification of the process for securing temporary liquor licensing, to assist cultural organisations to access short-term licences more easily and efficiently.
- Develop and implement an annual venue satisfaction survey to build a better understanding of the experiences of venue operators with City of Sydney staff and services, explore opportunities for improved service to this sector, and track trends over time.
- Establish a “Live Music and Performance ’Network”to meet biannually and include live music and performance venue operators and City of Sydney officers responsible for planning, compliance and cultural policy.
- Create an annual reporting process to communicate with the cultural sector and general community about the progressive implementation of the Live Music and Performance Action Plan and its impacts.
- Partner with the National Live Music Office in the development of an ongoing localised research framework aimed at measuring the social and cultural role of live music and performance in the City of Sydney.
- Require festivals funded by the City of Sydney to submit local content and artist employment data as part of the grant acquittal process.
- Contribute funding to an appropriate sector organisation for the establishment of a Music and Performance Program Coordinator role, subject to future Council resolution, to help venues in the City of Sydney local government area identify and implement live music and performance opportunities.
- Based on best practice models from other sectors, consider options to develop a financial assistance program that provides incentives to new and existing venues to invest in infrastructure and capital costs associated with live music and performance.
- Work with the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and Ministry for the Arts, as well as local promoters, major venues and festivals in the City of Sydney local government area to develop new models for supporting the contribution of international visiting artists to the local community.
- Work with the Australian Hotels Association, Music NSW or other peak bodies to develop processes by which an increased number of appropriate hotel spaces in hotels and other venues in the City of Sydney can be made available to musicians and other artists for rehearsals
- Ensure the City of Sydney’s current and future culture infrastructure plans (including its Integrated Community Facilities Strategy [draft]) acknowledge the importance of music rehearsal spaces and explore opportunities to build rehearsal space into new commercial developments in the City of Sydney
- Conduct an audit of a number of City of Sydney community facilities and other properties to determine their suitability as rehearsal spaces, including their suitability for use by school-age musicians and conduct a cost–benefit assessment of implementing higher-level acoustic standards into key facilities.
- Amend section 3.3 of the City‘s draft Neighbourhood Parking Policy (“Community and Recreational Facilities”) to “Community, Cultural and Recreational Facilities”and ensure that parking controls adjacent to these facilities allow for turnover that balances the needs of all users
- Based on the City of Yarra’s Live Music Venue Parking Permit initiative, conduct a pilot program trialling the use of a permit system which allows musicians and other workers associated with live music and performance to access existing loading zones adjacent to music and performance venues in the LGA for fifteen minutes for the purpose of unloading and loading instruments and equipment.
- Advocate to the NSW Government to amend loading zone regulations to provide musicians, performers and technical staff with access to loading zones, irrespective of the vehicle type used
- Expand the City of Sydney Youth Services program of events to provide monthly all-ages live music events utilising established venues.
- Investigate the creation of a grant program with a total budget of up to $25,000 to provide funding to venues in the City of Sydney local government area for the staging of all-ages live music and performance events.
- Review opportunities to equip key City of Sydney hireable community venues with appropriate sound, lighting and seating infrastructure and any required approvals to enhance their capacity as performance venues.
- Review hiring policies, prices, facilities and liquor licensing options associated with venues owned by the City of Sydney so that they are optimised to support small-scale live music and performance in Sydney.
- Allocate $20,000 matched funding to APRA|AMCOS to support a proposal to help promote live music and performance in Sydney, focused on local artists and local venues.
- Ensure that the hiring policies, prices, facilities and licensing options associated with City of Sydney managed outdoor spaces are optimised to support the provision of live music and performance, across small and large scales.
- Undertake a review of the City of Sydney Busking Policy to identify ways to simplify the busking requirements. In addition the City will explore opportunities provide opportunitiesto support and promote buskers to the general public, retail operators, land owners and event producers.
- Work with neighbouring councils and the NSW Government to help establish a major new outdoor event space for the Sydney area.
- Advocate to the NSW Government for greater clarity and consistency in the user-pays policing process, including introducing provisions that take into account the operating history of event proponents.
- Develop a collaborative marketing strategy with the live music and performance sector, utilising the City’s own marketing platforms and leveraging its media relationships.
- Work with Accessible Arts to gather data on current access standards in City of Sydney venues, and to develop resources and training focused on live music and performance, including advice on low-cost disability access solutions for temporary and non-traditional venues.
- Investigate options to support the Australian pilot of a ‘Gig Buddies’program.
- Ensure that criteria developed for allocation of City-owned live/work space encourages applications from musicians and performers, subject to the suitability of their practice to the space offered.
- Advocate to the NSW Government for the inclusion of musicians and performers in affordable housing programs run in the City of Sydney.
- Encourage applications for accommodation in City-owned space from innovative small businesses providing complementary services to the live music and performance industry.
- Advocate to the NSW Government to create a dedicated live music and performance community development fund from gaming revenue, separate to existing ClubGRANTS or Unclaimed Winnings funds and including a minimum yearly contribution.
Wollongong City Council Live Music Taskforce
In April 2014 The Wollongong Live Music Taskforce Action Plan was passed by Wollongong City Council, along with an associated Cultural Plan and Evening Economy Strategy.
A number of important strategic outcomes have already eventuated adjacent to the Wollongong Live Music Taskforce process, with Council establishing a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) unit in development assessment control to give guidance at startup with planning process and requirements for creative businesses – as well as acoustic privacy measures (soundproofing) for the old Oxford Tavern site mixed use DA on Corrimal St in the Wollongong CBD. This has been a residential DA that has paralleled the Wollongong Taskforce, on the site of an iconic old live music venue,
The double glazing from the facades specification is as follows:
Glazing for Acoustic requirement – Double glazing external sliding doors and windows:
a. 6mm glazing –100mm air gap –6 mm glazing set in a sealed metal or timber frame to achieve the sound insulation of a window and sliding door system (Rw40 –45).
b.The apartments from 1st/2nd floor to 7th floor window and sliding door system should achieve sound insulation (Rw43 –45).
c. The apartments from 8thfloor and above window and sliding door system should achieve sound insulation (Rw40–45).
d. Frames should be well sealed internally and externally to provide acoustic, thermal and moisture protection. Awning windows are preferred to sliding windows as they are able to achieve a positive compression seal.
e. The air gap between the two panes should be at least 100mm that is good for reducing traffic and other low frequency noise such as music from surrounding night clubs
Now fully passed by Council, The Wollongong Live Music Taskforce Actions are:
- That Council initiates a review of the City planning controls to optimise their support for live music and performance by identifying and protecting areas with strong traditions of live music and performance venues and activity and by supporting areas where urban and cultural amenity can be improved by live music and performance venues and activity; as well as to support the findings of the associated Cultural Plan and Evening Economy Strategy and Action Plan.
- Develop a venue matrix of building stock and available sites for live music events through a staged process, identifying criteria including cost, availability, and suitability/fit for purpose aspects.
- Promote Wollongong as a safe city through positive images, visible policing, and making available data on trends in public safety and crime.
- Align Council’s information resources and access where relevant across planning, economic development and culture to support the development of live music in Wollongong.
- Resource the development assessment team to help deliver improved information and guidance for proponents of live music/performance throughout the application process.
- Investigate opportunities for hosting an information session for the live music sector to advise the community on how to establish a live music venue informed by the City of Sydney Live Music 101 Small Business Seminars Model.
- Investigate partnership opportunities with the City of Sydney for dissemination of relevant information prepared from their Live Music and Live Performance Action Plan; including information guides that provide specific information on the process requirements and resources available for setting up a temporary or permanent live music or performance venue and that relate to the Building Code of Australia.
- That the City of Wollongong encourages appropriate trading conditions to support the viability and development of live music venues, and that licensing applications and variations to trading conditions are considered with regard to the cultural and economic development of the city.
- Encourage live music venues and small bars to participate in the Wollongong Liquor Accord, and to maintain good working relationships with Wollongong and Lake Illawarra Police.
- Ensure that comprehensive data on public safety and crime statistics and trends are available to Council and venues to ensure evidence-based decisions are made when determining DA and licensing conditions for live music premises.
- Review City of Wollongong planning controls to identify opportunities to streamline approval processes for small-scale and temporary live music and performance activity, including development of definitions for small- to medium-scale live music and performance and consideration of expanded “Exempt and Complying Development”provisions in the Wollongong Local Environmental Plan 2009.
- Review Standard Conditions of Development Consent to avoid inadvertent operating restrictions or inconsistencies eg with hours of operation or liquor licensing requirements.
- Ensure adequate information resources about responsibilities and land use character are available to venues and residents to pre-empt amenity complaints.
- Proposed residential development in mixed use evening economy areas is to incorporate relevant acoustic and/or design measures to address noise amenity impacts.
- Following review of planning controls consider providing S149 certificate notations to alert purchasers to issues that include noise, later trading businesses, traffic, events and increased visitation etc. of locations in the city with live music and evening economy character.
- That a protocol is prepared for Council Cultural and Economic Development staff to be advised by Planning and Building officers of any Development Application for or variation of consent or licensing conditions of a live music venue as an advisory pathway.
- That a program about the City’s cultural priorities and support for live music is implemented for City of Wollongong staff responsible for planning assessments,enforcement and compliance matters. This program could consist of training and annual refreshers about sector trends and issues affecting live music in Wollongong and NSW, as well as the recommendations of this Taskforce and the priorities outlined in associated Cultural Plan and Evening Economy Strategy and Action Plan
- Investigate the pre-lodgement process recommended by the City of Sydney Live Music and Live Performance Taskforce Action Plan (based on the Edinburgh ‘Temporary Theatre Licence’concept) as it is developed further by the City of Sydney through involving City of Wollongong building approval, planning, health and building and cultural staff to support the creation of non-traditional and temporary live music and performance venues.
- Encourage opportunities for the live music and creative sector in future development of industrial zones as these areas transition in use indexed to the future of heavy industry in the area.
- That Council in partnership with the Wollongong and Lake Illawarra Local Area Police Commands develop clearly defined and publicly available enforcement compliance guidelines for enacting enforcement compliance measures in response to amenity complaints against live music and performance venues.
- Encourage independent mediation between venues and residents in the case of an amenity dispute.
- That community safety meetings between Council and Wollongong and Lake Illawarra Police also identify any noise complaints against live music venues and events.
- Investigate measures to ensure that the authority to commence enforcement measures against live music venues in response to complaints under the POEO Act are restricted to appropriate staff experienced and trained to assess and determine ‘offensive noise’.
- Ensure adequate information resources about responsibilities and land use character are available to venues and residents to pre-empt amenity complaints.
- That a protocol is prepared for Council Cultural and Economic Development staff to be advised of any amenity complaints against live music venues as an advisory pathway.
- Review hiring policies, prices, facilities and licensing options associated with City of Wollongong owned venues and spaces so that they are optimised to support live music events.
- Consideration is given to include live music and performance capacity in the development of an Arts Precinct Master Plan.
- Identify and develop a designated, multi-day festival site within the region.
- Investigate and encourage expressions of interest from major contemporary music festivals for an event in Wollongong.
- Investigate the possibility of the development and promotion of a summer music series with regional Councils.
- Investigate the possibility of a program of live music events at swimming pools in summer as part of the Summer of Fun.
- That Council supports a noise mapping study of the city centre and suburban evening economy areas to identify areas with higher background noise levels and plan accordingly.
- That Council encourages further research into mapping the cultural and economic contribution of live music to the City of Wollongong.
- Investigate opportunities for improved transport at night.
- Investigate loading conditions to ensure better access for musicians to live music venues.
- Council promotes live music venues and events through the Cultural Newsletter.
- Investigate the possibility of a stand-alone live music communication through Wollongong Council.
- Encourage the sector to pro-actively contribute to a comprehensive gig guide and encourage venues to routinely log their events in the Destination Wollongong Gig Guide.
- Ensure that live music in Wollongong, through events, festivals, institutions and venues, is promoted beyond the residents of Wollongong through Destination Wollongong.
- Make representation to Destination NSW to optimise the capability of their events portal to enhance its function as a gig guide for the live music sector.
- Wollongong City Council Cultural Reference Group includes a representative from the Live Music Taskforce.
- Encourage the music sector to meet regularly at a live music venue to investigate issues facing the live music scene in Wollongong
All Ages Gigs In Victoria
In 2014 after a robust campaign by The Push and Music Victoria, all ages gigs returned in Victoria.
Music Victoria described the news and the process in the following article from their news pages –
All ages gigs in pubs are back! After 20 years in the musical wilderness, music lovers of all ages can experience a gig together. Bring your kids, bring your grandparents!
Amendments to the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 allow liquor licensees and permittees to have minors on that part of their premises or authorised premises when –
(i) a live music event* is being held in accordance with notice given to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) and prescribed conditions and
(ii) liquor is not supplied, consumed or made available on that part of the premises.
Previously, there was a $180 fee and a long waiting period to host under 18 gigs in a licensed venue. No longer! To host a mixed-age, alcohol-free gig, licensees simply need to notify the VCGLR at least a week prior to the event.
To give notice to the VCGLR, liquor licensees and permittees must:
- submit a Notification form for conduct of a live music event where minors will be present on licensed or authorised premises at least seven business days prior to the live music event/s
- adhere to the ‘prescribed conditions’ that apply to such events (see notification form for a full list of ‘prescribed conditions’).
Liquor licensees and permittees can notify the VCGLR of up to a maximum of three events in total on this form. There is no fee applicable.
Objectives of Liquor Legislation
The objects of the Liquor Act must be considered in deciding any matter before the licensing authority.
It is important that the Act includes an object that recognises the value and importance of live music. Then, the interests of music become a relevant consideration in licensing matters such as applications, amenity or complaints processes, variations on trading hours and conditions or transfer of licenses.
At this time only New South Wales, Western Australia, and South Australia have a specific reference to live music and entertainment in the objects of their Acts. This reference can be seen as desirable by the live music and entertainment industry as it can also deliver context in arbitration for complaints and can be very much a positive consideration in what is a heavily regulated area associated with risk.
3 Objects of Act
(1) The objects of this Act are as follows:
(c) to contribute to the responsible development of related industries such as the live music, entertainment, tourism and hospitality industriesLIQUOR LICENSING ACT 1997 – SECT 3
(1) The object of this Act is to regulate and control the sale, supply and consumption of liquor for the benefit of the community as a whole and, in particular—(b) to further the interests of the liquor industry and industries with which it is closely associated—such as the live music industry, tourism and the hospitality industry—within the context of appropriate regulation and controls;