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TURN IT UP: Live music venues welcome new industry reforms

Live music venues in Newcastle are set to take advantage of changes under the NSW government’s Vibrancy Reforms.

Since March 2023, the number of venues hosting live music in NSW has skyrocketed, marking an impressive 84% increase. This surge in live music venues comes on the heels of the NSW Labor Government’s efforts to simplify regulations, making it easier for establishments to welcome live acts.

The result is more pubs, clubs, and other venues becoming eligible for extended trading hours, provided they showcase live music and support local musicians, and an end to moronic noise complaints.

“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,” Premier of New South Wales, Chris Minns said.

“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.”

Under the Vibrancy Reforms, incentives for extended trading hours have doubled, incentivizing venues to embrace live music even further.

Basically, these reforms aim to address the longstanding issue of single noise complaints shuttering venues, thereby safeguarding the future of live music spaces and could be great news for Newcastle’s vibrant music scene.

The impact of these reforms extends beyond mere numbers though. It signals a shift in attitude towards supporting local talent.

The state has experienced a significant decline in music venues, with just 133 registered statewide in March 2023. However, with the introduction of the Vibrancy Reforms, there’s renewed hope for the industry’s revival, with direct support for venue operators and an 80% reduction in annual liquor licence fees.

“Under the former government, we nearly saw the day the music died in NSW,” Minister for Music and the Night-Time Economy John Graham said.

“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.

“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.”

The reforms will also streamline approval processes for licences and adopt a commonsense approach to noise complaints, providing businesses with much-needed certainty and confidence to invest in live performances. By consolidating the management of noise complaints under Liquor & Gaming NSW, the reforms aim to foster a more supportive environment for licensed venues.

Under the new regulations, venues approved as live music venues can extend their trading hours by two hours on nights featuring live entertainment, provided performances last at least 45 minutes after 8 pm. This provision not only benefits venues but also ensures that audiences have ample opportunities to experience live music late into the evening.

You can find out more about the changes by visiting liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au.