Soundproofing rollout to get music and live performance back on stage


Venues and hospitality businesses can unlock more opportunities under an initiative to install soundproofing and support them with skills and training to host live music.

Wide shot of crowd listening to singer on stage

Alfie Arcuri performing at The Beresford, Surry Hills. Photo: Destination NSW

Venues Unlocked is making $5 million available to upgrade and upskill venues, including bars, clubs, breweries, restaurants and cafes across NSW metropolitan areas and regions.

The program, which will entail co-investment with the venues, includes two funding and support streams for established and emerging venues:

  • Soundproofing Grants for Live Music Venues – A $2-million program delivered by Sound NSW for eligible live music venues to apply for grants of up to $100,000 to enable industry-best practice sound management. This includes infrastructure improvements and capital works, new equipment and other sound mitigation measures as identified by acoustic performance reports. Apply by 19 January 2024

  • Live Performance Venue Program – A $3-million program with two phases, delivered by the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner.

    • Phase one: Live Performance Venue Accelerator– Eligible hospitality businesses (cafes, clubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, distilleries, breweries) interested in diversifying into live performance venues can develop skills, confidence and capacity through specialist workshops, covering marketing, programming and essential equipment training. Apply by 13 December 2023.
    • Phase two: Live Performance Venue Grant Program -$1.6 million in grant funding to give eligible hospitality business access to expert advice and grant funding up to $80,000 to embed skills and support.

The Venues Unlocked Program is jointly delivered by Sound NSW and the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner.

Emily Collins, Interim Head of Sound NSW said:

“This much-needed program will provide a boost to the State’s vital live music ecosystem by supporting venues to access expert acoustic advice and necessary soundproofing upgrades. Better sound mitigation will help venues open their doors to more local and touring artists, while ensuring a carefully considered approach to impacts on their community.

“High quality venues are the backbone of a strong live music and performance industry, and this program aims to lay a solid foundation for a new era of revitalisation.”

NSW’s 24-Hour Economy Commissioner Michael Rodrigues, said:

“We’re on a mission to support future live performance and music venues in NSW so they can focus more on customer experience and reap the benefits of hosting live performance.

“We’ve also learnt through our Uptown program that there’s a lot to be gained by building the capability of the sector and then supporting that skills development with grant funding. It’s excellent to be partnering with Sound NSW to really focus on rebuilding our grass roots performance culture. It means more options for consumers when it comes to a night out.”

/Public Release. View in full here.