Live and Local


In 2013, the City of Sydney convened a Live Music and Performance Taskforce to develop an action plan for Council. This process uncovered the music community’s dissatisfaction with how publicly-funded live music events took place.

Venues felt they provided regular jobs for musicians and paid rates to Council. However, rather than benefitting local venues, Council budgets were directed to promoting overseas artists in temporary venues.

Musicians also voiced their dissatisfaction. From their perspective, the City of Sydney’s cultural events didn’t feature enough local artists. And when they did, budgets preferenced temporary staging, fencing, port-a-loos and security, rather than local artist fees.

A way forward

Both groups recognised there was an opportunity to promote local live music and develop the community’s appetite for it. This is how the Live and Local concept was born.

The City of Sydney provided the Live Music Office with a matched-funding grant to carry out two Live and Local pilot events in 2014. The strategy and method of these events is now being shared with regional and suburban centres across the country.

The Live Music Office aims to:

  • develop Live and Local into a flexible, best-practice model that can be carried out easily by other councils
  • encourage collaboration between councils, the hospitality sector, state-based music industry associations and artists across a broad range of genres
  • widely distribute the Live and Local methodology i.e. templates of contracts, agreements, operation manuals and budget plans
  • provide phone and email support to Live and Local events as they occur