Staging Comeback: Live Music Venue Numbers Soar


NSW is in the midst of a live music revival as the number of venues hosting live performances soared by 84% since the NSW Labor Government made it easier for venues to host live music.

Since March 2023, 112 pubs, clubs and other live venues have joined the list of establishments that qualify for 2 hours extended trading in return for staging live music and backing local musicians.

The NSW Government’s Vibrancy Reforms have doubled the incentives for extended trading hours to host live music and will prevent single noise complainants from shutting down venues.

In music to the ears of live music fans and those who remember the heyday of bands coming up through the music scene in NSW, there are now 245 licensed venues claiming live music incentives from Liquor & Gaming NSW across the state, including those in the Enmore Special Entertainment Precinct.

Under the former government, NSW lost more than half its music venues with just 133 registered across the state in March 2023.

The first round of the Vibrancy Reforms, which passed Parliament in November, provide direct support to venue operators to launch and grow local music, with a cost relief focus that includes an 80% reduction in the annual liquor licence fee.

Streamlined approval processes for licences and a commonsense approach to noise complaints is providing businesses in the sector with the certainty and confidence they need to invest again in hosting performance, trading later and hiring more staff.

Under the former government, there were seven agencies that dealt with entertainment noise complaints, allowing a single neighbour to close a venue. The reforms are streamlining this process by making Liquor & Gaming NSW the lead agency in managing noise complaints about licensed venues.

The take up of extended hours for live music has been evenly spread statewide, with 40 venues across regional NSW from Newcastle to Bathurst and right down to Queanbeyan and Narooma.

Under the reforms, venues approved as a live music venue with Liquor & Gaming NSW can trade for an extra 2 hours on nights when they provide live entertainment for at least 45 minutes after 8pm.

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Premier of NSW Chris Minns said:

“We made a promise to the people of NSW to double the number of live music venues across the state within 4 years, and that is what we are delivering.

“Our vibrancy reforms will give pubs, clubs and other live music venues the confidence they need to hire staff, trade later and host performances, providing an economic boost for hundreds of venues across regional and metro areas.

“The take up of these extended trading incentives, coupled with lifting the concert cap and making it easier to get outdoor dining will create jobs and get the Sydney night-time economy going again.”

Minister for Music and the Night-Time Economy John Graham said:

“Under the former government we nearly saw the day the music died in NSW.

“We knew we had to change the rules to resuscitate the live music scene and it is pleasing to see the industry has responded immediately.

“In 2024 we are seeing more shows, more jobs for musicians and creatives and more work in the hospitality sector due to extended trading.

“We are bringing to a stop the great NSW sport of moving in next door to a venue and then launching a campaign to close it over noise.”

Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said:

“Music venues can’t wait to get on the road again with these reforms.

“It’s exciting to see such a large take-up of the opportunity for extended trading hours in exchange for hosting live music under the NSW Government’s Vibrancy Reforms.

“Our reforms are about slashing red tape and streamlining processes to enable businesses to deliver an expanded range of experiences for their patrons and the results speak for themselves.”

Head of Sound NSW Emily Collins said:

“It’s great to see such a positive reception from regional venues keen to reap the benefits of the Vibrancy Reforms.

“By creating an environment for venues to throw open their doors to live music, we’re also supporting the ongoing growth of our state’s night-time economy, and I look forward to working across the regions to bring more opportunities to life.”

/Public Release. View in full here.