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How Music Victoria Plans to Become a ‘Global Force’

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How Music Victoria plans to become a 'global force'

Pictured: Emma Donovan and The Putbacks at the 2021 Melbourne Music Awards

Music Victoria has released its roadmap to world domination.

Compensation and investment incentives, an annual conference and the provision of high-needs training courses are among the priorities outlined in Music Victoria’s new white paper, Building the Victorian Music Sector as a Global Music Powerhouse.

The state has long billed itself as the birthplace of live music, with strong ties between the music industry and government.

“Victoria’s live music sector contributes over $1.7 billion a year to GDP, creates over 116,000 jobs and returns $3 for every dollar invested,” said Simone Schinkel, CEO of Music Victoria.

But, warns Music Victoria, the dark undercurrents – especially in the wake of COVID – must be addressed if the industry doesn’t squander its competitive edge and lose more talent to other sectors.

For example, only 47% of venues licensed for live music in 2019 renewed their licenses.

One in four gigs is unpaid, only 15% feel safe at work, job insecurity is high, harassment is rampant, and the level of inclusion and diversity is embarrassing.

Here are the 12 priority points:

1. Set up broader investment programs

These would be compensations and incentives of the kind that the film and television sectors have enjoyed for years to attract investment.

These would be complemented by increased use of Victorian music, through quotas on streaming playlists or in screen and game projects.

“Targeted funding could help subsidize outside regional and metropolitan venues to program original local music, helping the continued development of artists,” the white paper suggests.
Leading bodies, industry and local councils could be helped to nurture live programs for all ages to develop and engage young audiences and acts.

2. Set up more insurance plans

These would provide affordable disruption and cancellation cover and liability insurance.

It could build on the success of the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority in 2021/22, which insured $230m worth of events against cancellations and reduced capacity caused by covid, or learn from the UK’s event reinsurance scheme live.

3. Review liquor planning and laws

This would give local governments the ability to set noise levels, support night-time economies, protect creative spaces and prevent talent from being evicted from city centres.

4. Set minimum fees and diversity criteria

These would be incorporated into grants from various levels of government, which will also play a leadership role in ensuring fairer wage rates and subcontracts.

5. Adopt recommendations from National Industry Music Review

The white paper expands: “As a first step, the Victorian Government’s Respect and Sanity Task Force could establish much-needed ‘best practices’ in governance, health and safety at work; inclusion of First Peoples, LGBTIQ+ Victorians, people with disabilities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

A roundtable could establish a framework and provide guidance to help address, report and address sexual harassment and discrimination.

6. Rely on dedicated mental health services

This would include in-house clinicians in cutting-edge bodies for closer relationships with employees and those who have never had access to mental health support before to deal with irregular finances, connecting their identities and their art.

7. Resource Futures Industry Skills Development

These include opportunities for capacity building, learning how to use technology “to increase discoverability, grow market share and monetize creative content”, formal accreditation and course delivery much-needed training and professional development programs.

8. Build united networks and partnerships

The music industry is made up of small sectors that rarely operate as a united front.

“With a modest investment” it is possible to bring together the skills and resources of the sector to create opportunities, “coordinate tours, share risks, nurture ideas, build capacity and develop stronger pipelines for content and talents”.

9. Invest in music infrastructure

Gaps in the professional and technological capabilities of venues limit the growth of regional shows and tours.

An alliance between industry and levels of government could lead to an interactive online map to facilitate tour planning and specific funding to upgrade venues and equipment.

10. Raise Victoria’s profile in export markets

Victorian acts are making their presence felt, with five of the six Australian acts at Glastonbury 2022 hailing from that state and representing 27% of the acts featured at BIGSOUND 2022.

The Victorian and federal governments could provide strategic support and investment to help profile acts globally and help new ones regain momentum from releasing new music hit by lockdowns.

11. Launch the annual conference and showcase

This would allow for continued debate on pressing issues, open cross-sector doors and tap into new markets.

Melbourne hosted the first Music Cities Convention in 2018 with 350 experts from around the world on how cities could better accommodate music.

It was not only a successful exchange of ideas, but it reaffirmed it as a global music city.

12. Increase Search

The music industry needs to strengthen its research and understanding of copyright protection, marketing of new content, consumer behavior and obtaining the latest information and statistics to better develop campaigns and gain ” overview “.

“Our proposed key actions are extremely achievable and will cement Victoria as a global music leader. The potential results will continue to benefit all Victorians and music lovers everywhere,” summarizes Schinkel.

Download the full report here.

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