The second NSW Parliamentary Friends of Australian Music (PFOAM) event rocked Macquarie Street last night, with a delegation of New South Wales songwriters, musicians, recording artists and key industry leaders highlighting the contribution the contemporary music industry makes to our economy, our community and our culture.
With over 100 Members, Ministers, Senators and Parliament House staff in attendance, Icehouse, William Barton, Leah Flanagan, William Crighton and KLP took to the stage to perform a few songs and discuss issues key to the contemporary music industry, including the importance of a strong live touring circuit, and support for music in a wide range of venues; music export opportunities; Australian content on radio and streaming services; music education; and the value of copyright.
The evening also saw up-and-coming Sydney band Spruced Moose introduced as the winner of this year’s AHA NSW Rockin’ The Puburbs competition, supported by APRA AMCOS, Music NSW and Young Henry’s. The competition, now in its second year, was initiated to support live music throughout NSW, and to create opportunities for the next generation of NSW musicians.
QUOTES FROM ARTISTS WHO PERFORMED AT ROCK THE HOUSE:
Kristy Lee Peters (KLP) on the importance of music education, and the SongMakers high school program, of which Kristy is a mentor: “Because of SongMakers, you don’t have to fumble your way into the music industry. You learn terms like booking agent, artist manager, topliner, which you really can’t in any other classroom. And it helps set you on a career pathway to being a songwriter, a musician or maybe an industry professional.”
William Crighton on the importance of investment in music export and SOUNDS AUSTRALIA: “It’s very important that we have that platform in order to showcase to, because without it we have no infrastructure.”
“Whenever any one of us travels overseas, we are representatives – whether we like it or not – of the country where we’re from. The people we come into contact with are constantly asking us about Australian issues…when you’re playing to a few hundred people we are the unofficial social representatives of Australia. We all wear our country on our sleeves, and I think having the infrastructure to really support that, like SOUNDS AUSTRALIA does, to give us a platform to perform to industry people from other countries is really important and completely necessary.”
Leah Flanagan: “Copyright lasts your lifetime and then some – luckily. You get royalties every time your song is played on the radio, every time you play live there’s a royalty attached to it, and because of the amount of work that goes into just a basic live performance, you’re not ever really compensated for that, for the hours of study, the hours you spend crafting your songs, money that you have to spend in the studio to get your music out there. Royalties, for me, makes a dramatic difference to my life, whether it be paying my office bills, or my rent for a week, or the power bill, copyright and the royalties that it facilities make a huge impact to me as an artist.”
Iva Davies (Icehouse) on the importance of a sustainable metro and regional touring market, for Australian artists career development, and as a contribution to the economy: “In Australia we have the limitations of only a certain number of big cities, and so it’s great to go and work in regional Australia. Last year we played 35 shows, to over 300,000 people, an average of 10,000 people per show. A lot of those are regional places, like Kiama Showgrounds. We’re travelling with a core touring party of 16 people, we’ve got managers, we’ve got bookkeepers, we’ve got agents, and then by the time we get to somewhere like Kiama, we’ve had people coming from Wollongong, from Nowra, from all over the place. Every hotel is full, every restaurant is buzzing, and we are employing around 400 people.”
“The industry is running on its live business. And what radio and all those other outlets does is promote where the money is coming from and where the life blood of those artists come from, which is what we do – we perform. You can have your recording and listen to it whenever you want, and you can listen to your radio, but there’s one thing you’ll never be able to put in a bottle, and that is a performance.”
NSW CONTEMPORARY MUSIC INDUSTRY IN NUMBERS:
– There are over 23,000 APRA songwriters in NSW.
– Nationally, an estimated 65,000 full and part-time jobs are created by monies spent on live music, with taxation revenue generated for all tiers of government. (Uni of Tas, 2014)
– The same research identified live music attendance in 2014 in NSW conservatively at: 16 million attendees in total (2.3 million at concerts; 433K at festivals; 3.3 million at ticketed shows; and 10 million at free events).
– Live Performance Australia’s 2016 research values NSW contemporary music live concert revenue + festival revenue at $201 million (and this is just ticketed concerts – doesn’t include free events or door sales at club gigs!).
– Every dollar spent on live music circulates three dollars back into the broader economy (Uni of Tas, 2014). More Australians attend live music than sport. (Uni of Tas, 2014)
– Nationally, the contribution of live music to the economy (including commercial, cultural and well-being value) has been valued at $15.7 billion. (Uni of Tas, 2014)
– NSW is currently the commercial centre of the music industry – with the majority of major publishers and record labels located here, as well as the head offices of the major societies and industry associations.
– Since 2009 SOUNDS AUSTRALIA has participated in 69 different international in 63 cities across 22 countries. 1,404 Australian groups have showcased at international events under the SOUNDS AUSTRALIA banner, and of those on average, 34.33% hail from NSW, fielding the largest number of industry participation each year.
– SOUND AUSTRALIA’s showcases have been the launching point for some of the State’s greatest global success stories. NSW artists such as Flume, The Preatures, Julia Jacklin, Middle Kids, DMA’s, Alex the Astronaut, Dean Lewis and Gang of Youths all used the SOUNDS AUSTRALIA program to catapult them in to the consciousness of the world’s most influential music industry.
– This year so far, across 7 cities, 43 NSW acts (note this is different to artists, they range from solo to five pieces) have showcased with SOUNDS AUSTRALIA.
– Since 2016 Create NSW has supported the Live and Local micro festival initiative in three funding rounds – providing funding for local councils, local businesses and local musicians to together stage free, family friendly micro festivals. A statewide initiative, micro festivals ran over two years throughout Western Sydney and regional NSW councils.
Prepared by APRA AMCOS Communications