On Tuesday 2 September 2014 Marrickville Council tabled the LIVE MUSIC MARRICKVILLE plan, an initiative of the joint Marrickville and Leichhardt Council Live Music Reference Group.

Read the Council papers here.

Aligned with the City of Sydney and Leichhardt Council live music plans, the LIVE MUSIC MARRICKVILLE policy platform aims to optimise both planning and regulatory functions of Council with cultural programs, venues and artists themselves, to better support the development of live music in the local government area. At this time Council is also considering a range of live music activities, including a 6 month trial of live music events as after hours youth activities.

The LIVE MUSIC MARRICKVILLE recommendations are as follows:
Land use (a detailed proposal titled ‘Sydenham Station Industry and Arts Hub Precinct’ will be included in the September Council meeting)

  • In principle support for zoning changes for a limited part of the Sydenham precinct to encourage more Live Music and creative venues.
  • Review zoning on a targeted area of Parramatta Road to assess implications on Live Music and creative venues.

Support in mediation of noise issues

  • Introduction of a grants program that could include funds to generate noise reports and sound proof venues etc.
  • The creation of Live Music precincts in Parramatta Road and Sydenham (as detailed above) would assist in diverting live music activities away from more residential areas.

Support for Live Music venue operators

  • Introduction of regular Live Music forums (annual).
  • Develop and implement an annual venue satisfaction survey to build a better understanding of the experiences of venue operators, explore opportunities for improved service to this sector and track trends over time.
  • Seek funds (a small amount) to contribute to a Music and Performance Co-ordinator salary (based at the City of Sydney) so that inner west venues can gain advice on regulations and legislation around setting up a Live Music venue.
  • Explore internal resources to investigate suitable Marrickville community venues and options for making community venues more accessible to Live Music hirers.
  • Introduction of the music loading zones for venue operators / musicians to load and unload instruments and music related equipment.

Support in setting up a venue

  • Adaptation of the City of Sydney’s How to Guides for Marrickville venues.
  • Increased information sharing between Culture and Recreation and Planning staff at Council to assist those trying to set up a venue. This could incorporate a Planning representative who is specifically informed to work with creative venues
  • Investigate a pre-lodgement process to support the creation of non-traditional and temporary Live Music and performance venues.

Rehearsal Spaces

  • Explore internal resources for an audit of Marrickville’s community facilities and other properties to determine their suitability as rehearsal spaces


  • Council to provide relevant information about the accessibility of Marrickville venues to the City of Sydney and Accessible Arts

Audience development

  • Engage young people by exploring the introduction of a series of all age’s gigs in established venues. This would be carried out in consultation with Council’s Out of Hours initiative for children and young people, which is delivered through Council’s Library and History Services and Community Development Service areas.
  • Consider minor proposed public domain developments to attract audiences to Live Music precincts, such as improved lighting on shopfronts, as proposed by the Live Music Reference Group. Any changes would need to occur in close cooperation with the Public Domain Strategy.
  • Consider delivering a Live Music trail in the Sydenham precinct aimed at drawing attention to Live Music venues to coincide with the Sydney Fringe Festival, dependent on internal staff resources.
  • Consult with local Live Music operators to assist in selecting Live Music performers for Council events. This will build relations with Live Music operators, give Council access to up and coming local acts and develop audiences for local emerging artists.

Live music grants

  • Explore introducing grants and/or or adapting current Arts and Cultural and/or Independent Artist Grants to support local Live Music. Funded projects could include:
  • Noise mediation and sound proofing, as discussed above
  • Subsidy of all ages gigs
  • Audience development
  • Council’s Independent Artist Grants have already identified music as the priority area for the 2014 round of grants. These projects will be delivered from September 2014 in accordance with Council’s Independent Artist Grants guidelines.


There is currently $50K allocated for Live Music in the 2014/2015 budget.


The proposed initiatives have incorporated the following consultation:

Live Music Matters Report (2013)

– Marrickville Live Music Forum (2013);

– Marrickville’s Live Music venue interviews (one on one) (2014);

– Live Music Reference Group meetings (2014)

– Internal Council staff meetings (2014)


It is proposed Council adopt a number of Live Music measures to support Marrickville’s Live Music venues. These locally specific measures seek to support and enhance the potential of
the area’s creative and cultural life and mitigate the negative impacts of Live Music venues.
The measures also seek to ensure the sustainability of venues through a range of support measures, grants and inclusion considerations such as access and engaging young people.
Strong co-operation with neighbouring Councils seeks to ensure a consistent approach and mutual support across inner city Councils.