A satellite account is a standard developed by the United Nations to measure the size of economic sectors that are not defined as industries in the national accounts (UNWTO, 2002). Live music is one such industry not discretely defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics or, indeed, any central economic agency.

The consumption of live music actually involves making a variety of related purchases across already defined sectors. In this study we have measured a number of these, including:

  • Accommodation and related expenses
  • Clothes and fashion
  • Food, beverages and other consumables
  • Fuel, motor vehicle and travel expenses
  • Memberships and subscriptions
  • Merchandise (including CDs, programs, memorabilia)
  • Phone, internet and communication expenses, and
  • Tickets / entry fees

The composition of this spending is shown in Figure 4 and applied as a baseline to a number of the estimates of costs and benefits that follow. Of interest is the fact that producer accounts of live music making—even if perfectly conducted—will only ever capture ticket and food and beverage sales. It can be seen in Figure 4 that these categories describe less than half of the actual economic impact of live music making in Australia.

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A small number of respondents identified other incidental expenses that are not included in our reckoning included child care, car parking, hearing protection, cameras and multimedia devices and recreational drugs. These are recommended for consideration in future live music satellite accounting, as is the inclusion where relevant of the instruments of live music production.