Adelaide is proving that a strong live music scene is good not only for a city’s nightlife but also its bottom line.
According to a report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, by contributing to nightlife live music also makes cities more attractive to both industry and employees, providing great incentive for investors to look to music cities for profit.
Lead author of the report and Executive Vice President of Music Canada Amy Terrill said that she'd seen that a strong music scene lead to a boost in the nightime economy of cities.
"Internationally, music cities like Austin and Nashville use their vibrant music scenes to lure companies to locate in those cities, as the music scenes draw a young, talented workforce.”
“This vibrancy has been proven to be key to attracting a workforce, and the companies that employ that workforce, no matter what industry they may be in," she said."
Terrill said due to strong government support, Adelaide was developing well into an internationally renowned music city.
"It has been exciting to watch the progress that has been made in South Australia through a focused, intentional program to remove barriers and create a nurturing environment for artists and musicians" she said.
Last year, Adelaide was recognised by the United Nations as a city of music, joining a prestigious list of 19 other UNESCO music cities.
According to Music SA, a not-for-profit organisation focused on improving the music scene in the region, more than 1100 live gigs are now played each month across Adelaide, up from 950 in 2015.
More than 200 venues now host bands each month, with bigger performers and crowds streaming in from across Australia.
It wasn’t that long ago that Adelaide’s live music scene was struggling and in the shadow of some of Australia’s larger cities, General Manager of Music SA Lisa Bishop said.
“The live scene in Adelaide had hit a bit of a lull.”
“Venues were finding it hard to pull in punters and there were very few bands to play with,” she said.
But in the past few years, changes to live music regulation have allowed the city’s music scene to flourish.
“We’ve had streamlining of live music regulation through the removal of the Entertainment Consent Clause in 2015, and since then, the Adelaide music industry has done a complete backflip,” Bishop said.
“Live music is now a part of the holy cultural trinity that Adelaide is well known for: wine, food and music
“Audiences are now embracing it as a cultural pursuit and not just something that is enjoyed late at night in a dark venue – we see it at Railway Stations, city squares and shopping markets.”
Much of this shift is due to a newfound level of support from both city and state government for the live music scene in Adelaide.
Changes to regulations have meant more venues now stage live music, while government run programs and initiatives have provided more opportunities for bands to play.
This level of support made sense, Bishop said, because Adelaide’s live music scene contributed substantially not just to the city’s culture, but also its economy.
A nationwide report by the University of Tasmania found that the music scene contributed more than $264 million to South Australia’s economy each year, representing a 3:1 return on investment.
“Live music in SA provides 4100 jobs in the industry, it’s playing an important role in South Australia’s economic transformation,” Bishop said.