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

Taskforce Web Page

The Lord Mayoral Minute

Terms Of Reference      See Report Appendix

Summary Of Submissions

Fact Sheet

Sydney Live Music Research

Taskforce Action Plan

The City of Sydney Live Music and Performance Taskforce Actions are:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. Advocate to the NSW Government for legislative reform to remove duplication and inconsistencies in the regulation of noise from live music and performance premises.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. Investigate partnership opportunities for dissemination of nationally relevant information relating to the Building Code of Australia
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. Continue to advocate for an increase in the allowable capacity for venues with small bar licenses from 60 to 120 people
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Require festivals funded by the City of Sydney to submit local content and artist employment data as part of the grant acquittal process.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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.
  41. 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
  42. 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.
  43. 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
  44. Expand the City of Sydney Youth Services program of events to provide monthly all-ages live music events utilising established venues.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. Work with neighbouring councils and the NSW Government to help establish a major new outdoor event space for the Sydney area.
  52. 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.
  53. Develop a collaborative marketing strategy with the live music and performance sector, utilising the City’s own marketing platforms and leveraging its media relationships.
  54. 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.
  55. Investigate options to support the Australian pilot of a ‘Gig Buddies’program.
  56. 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.
  57. Advocate to the NSW Government for the inclusion of musicians and performers in affordable housing programs run in the City of Sydney.
  58. Encourage applications for accommodation in City-owned space from innovative small businesses providing complementary services to the live music and performance industry.
  59. 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.