Melbourne live music census report 2017: executive summary

12 Apr 2018

The Melbourne Live Music Census 2017 looked at a variety of subjects and issues around the state of live music in Victoria, addressing the health of the industry, the dollar value, patron attendance, safety and inclusion and the audience share compared to other recreational activities.

In 2017, Greater Melbourne hosted more 73,605 advertised gigs compared to 62,000 in 2012, representing a 19% increase. Melbourne’s live music performances, attracting a patronage exceeding 17.5 million visits and accounting for more than $1.42 billion spent in small venues and at concerts and festivals in 2017, represented a 16% increase on the $1.22 billion spent in 2012.

The census has found, among other key figures, that on each Saturday night Melbourne’s live music venues can boast the equivalent audience of an AFL Grand Final with around 112,000 attendees to local gigs and concerts across the city.

The live music scene is also a major contributor to Melbourne’s employment with Music Victoria estimating that the 73,000 gigs recorded in 2017 directly created more than 18,300 part-time jobs for musicians, venue and security staff, public and private transport workers and more.

Other key findings include:

- 2017 live music attendance of 17.5 million - increase of 12% from 15.6 million in 2012.

- 55% of live music venues reported that their audience had increased in the past 12 months. (Only 16% recorded a decrease).

- Live music attracted more attendance than the AFL, Spring Racing Carnival, A League, Basketball, Netball, NRL, Cricket and the Australian Grand Prix combined.

- In 2017 the census confirmed that greater Melbourne had 553 venues that hosted live music performances - of those 464 were classified as ‘regular’, compared with 465 in 2012.

- Melbourne has one live music venue per 9,503 residents, making Melbourne the live music capital of the world

- By comparison London has 245 venues (1 per 34,350 residents), New York has 453 venues (1 per 18,554 residents) and Los Angeles 510 venues (1 per 19,607 residents)

Publication Details
Published year only: 
Subject Areas
Geographic Coverage