The analysis carried out in this study was supported and validated by:

  • face-to-face interviews with live music venue owners / operators in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart (n=38), and
  • an online survey of live music consumers (n=1488).

Both primary data collection instruments are appended to this report.

Our data revealed factors affecting live music attendance and the various ways live music benefits and is valued by respondents. We were also interested in the commercial experience of producers, particular their motivations, operation and factors influencing their success or otherwise. Qualitative analysis of this data contributes to an understanding of how the market for live music operates, what the enabling and constraining factors may be, and where government and industry might invest most effectively.

Design of the qualitative survey and interview questionnaire was informed by the literature discussed earlier and refined by a focus group of industry professionals, local government staff and music researchers. Rather than imposing a limited set of criteria, the survey and questionnaire comprised mostly open-ended questions in an attempt to allow themes to emerge from the respondents’ answers. A strict data collection and management protocol was thus employed to ensure that no venue or consumer could be identified during data analysis.

Qualitative content analysis was used to identify categories or themes that allowed similar responses to questions to be grouped together. After a first pass categories were refined and, where possible, categories were standardised across the producer and consumer data. Responses to questions were then sorted into these categories to allow for comparison and discussion. This qualitative analysis is not intended to be generalizable; instead, it describes the type and volume of responses we received to the questions posed.