Good live music news with London’s grass roots venues finally stabilising, Queensland opting out of lockout laws, vibrant new programs in Victoria, and commitments from Labor in WA.

In this light, it is really time for NSW to get Sydney’s live music act together. Losing two iconic contributors and stifling live music activism in the first month of 2017 is not a great start.

We had fun with a new online arts engagement tool that shows inner Perth and Melbourne are our live music capitals – check it out.

You may notice a slight format shift – shorter, sharper stories offer more fortnightly music news – plus detailed coverage of a few key developments. We hope you like - let us know!


Chris Bowen CEO

Music Australia





Independent UK Venues Celebrate Nationally and Stabilise in London

After a substantial decline saw a third of London’s small live music venues close, a progress report suggests the loss has been stabilised. Meanwhile a national UK celebration promotes the value of local live music. Full story





Sydney Loses Newtown Social Club & Harold Park Hotel Sessions

Just a month into 2017, Sydney has lost two live music staples – the Newtown Social Club and the Harold Park Hotel’s Sunday evening sessions Full story



Victoria Shows How it is Done - Solid Investment in Contemporary Music

The latest announcement out of Victoria, backing music tourism under the Rocking the Laneways program, clearly demonstrates this state’s leadership in embracing contemporary music, and sets a national example. Full story



Nick Cave Criticises Noise Restrictions During Brisbane Gig

Nick Cave attracted headlines after criticising restrictions in Brisbane. While noise limits continue to effectRiverstage, the Queensland Government has abandoned a proposed 1am lockout. Full story



Laneway Festival and Camp Cope To Open Harassment Hotline

The hotline is available at every 2017 edition of St Jerome’s Laneway Festival. The goal is to ensure that Laneway provides a safe, inclusive space for all music lovers. Full story



Keep Sydney Open Keeps Fighting After NSW Supreme Court Ruling

After receiving a NSW Supreme Court Ruling to shut down their last protest, Keep Sydney Open reveal plans to hold a “bigger, louder and stronger” rally this month. Full story



Global Doors Open for Australian Artists: Classical:Next Fellows Program

Two Australians have been named as Fellows for the 2017 Classical:Next conference in Rotterdam in May. There are many ways for composers, performers and ensembles to participate in this global event. Full story



Further Changes Look Likely at ABC Classic FM

ABC Classic FM has made an assurance that it will maintain the number of live concert broadcasts at existing levels. However, that may reduce by the end of the year, and the station may shift to purely digital radio and streaming. Full story



Are you a musician or music industry professional often travelling around Australia? Don’t book your next tour or conference ticket without joining Music Australia first. Our members gain access to Virgin Australia’s discount baggage allowances! We also offer 25% discount on our advertising rates, discounts to industry events, 20% off Ukulele Song School products, 20% off tunes at SongLibrary, and lots more.Sign up today!


Subsidies Available for Women’s Leadership Events

Women & Leadership Australia are currently offering 20 Music Australia members the opportunity to attend the 2017 Australian Women’s Leadership Symposium for $400 off the standard rate.The Symposium provides women a critically important platform to explore leadership, life and career development. They will take place in all capital cities across Australia later this year. To take advantage of the discount contact our Program Coordinator Scarlett Di Maio on




Honours for Great Australian Music Educator

Michelle Leonard joins the community of exemplary Australian musicians and educators who have been honoured for their services to Australia’s cultural landscape. Michelle received an OAM for her service to the community and to the performing arts. Full story


Free Music Lessons on the Internet: Is There Such a Thing?

We take a look at a number of teachers and institutions that offer free music lessons, and ask what the student can rightfully expect to receive. Whether they can form part of a viable business model for providers is also explored. Full Story





West Australians Amongst the Most Engaged in Live Music – New Figures Released

A new online Australia Council tool shows that live music is Australia’s second most popular cultural pursuit, and Victoria’s Hume and WA’s Bunbury are Australia’s most musically engaged regions. Full Story




All the latest music opportunities - here and online! 


Access our complete suite of Opportunities at your leisure on our website. Your one-stop-shop for all the latest music information: competitions, awards, funding, jobs, conferences, events, workshops, resources and more. View the OPPORTUNITIES section on our website now! And the latest opportunities are below.

To share an Opportunity send us an email. 


Competitions & Awards


Applications closing soon for these Competitions & Awards:

WAM, Song of the Year Prize

Applications close 9 February
One of Australia’s biggest songwriting competitions is now open for applications, with over 40K in prizes to be won.

The Prix Ars Electronica Prize

Applications close 3 March
Nominations now open for the Prix Ars Electronica Prize which is the world’s most time-honored media arts competition.


Australian Jazz Bell Awards

Applications close 15 March
The Australian Jazz Bell Awards recognise and encourage excellence in the performance, creativity, recording and presentation of jazz in Australia. In honour of one of the greats of Australian jazz - Graeme Bell, MBE, AO.

QMF – On Song Competition

Applications close 31 March
Queensland Music Festival (QMF) has launched a statewide search to discover new talent among aspiring young musicians. Entries are now open for the chance to take part in two exciting festival events in 2017.


Workshops, Seminars & Programs


Applications closing soon for these Workshops, Seminars & Programs:

The Music Industry Pathways program

Applications close 3 February
Offers the opportunity for young and/or emerging performers and industry practitioners to team up with an established music industry professional to gain advice, get hands-on training and experience, and learn more about the career opportunities that exist within the industry.

Gold Coast Arts Leadership Exchange

Applications close 6 February
Applications are now being accepted for the Gold Coast Arts Leadership Exchange. The one day program is designed for arts leaders in various stages in their careers based in the Gold Coast region and will cater for emerging, mid-career and established leaders for both independents and leaders within organisations.

AGSC Composer Attachment with Guy Gross                                           

Applications close 10 February
The Composer Attachment is an opportunity for a female composer, or a composer from any under, represented sector of the screen community, to have an attachment with leading film & TV composer and current AGSC President, Guy Gross, as he scores 'Pulse', an upcoming eight-part ABC drama series.

Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music

Applications close 22 February
Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music focuses on improvisation, composition, listening, ensemble playing, history, theory, critique, creative concepts and connections to other genres, fields and disciplines.



Conferences & Festivals


Conferences & Festivals just around the corner:

Showcase Victoria, Submissions Open

Applications close 8 February
Delivered by the Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres (VAPAC) and Regional Arts Victoria with support from Creative Victoria, this annual event connects performing arts companies with regional and international presenters. 

Music Tourism Convention

16 – 17 February, Liverpool, UK
Delivered by the Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres (VAPAC) and Regional Arts Victoria with support from Creative Victoria, this annual event connects performing arts companies with regional and international presenters. 

Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF)

1 – 2 April, Brisbane
A Rock & Roll Writers Festival celebrates the creative relationship between writing and music. Fans of music and writing get up close and personal with the creators of stories and songs.

Australian Society for Music Education XXI National Conference

15- 17 July, Melbourne
The theme for the ASME XXI National Conference is Uniting Voices, which seeks to embrace and celebrate music education across the vast array of institutions, organisations and professional associations which provide and support music learning in formal and non-formal contexts through all stages of life. Call for papers are due 1 March.





Applications closing soon for these Funding Opportunities:


City of Perth – Arts Initiative Grants

Applications close 7 February
Funding is now available for performance seasons, arts industry events, exhibitions, film, photography, multi-disciplinary and community arts projects.

Creative Victoria, Music Works Grants

Applications close 15 February
The Music Works Grants program invests in the
development and support of Victoria's contemporary music artists and music industries. It provides support for projects and programs that will develop and bring dynamism to Victoria's contemporary music sector, increase employment and build cultural capital.


Applications close 17 February
MATCH Lab is the new iteration Creative Partnerships Australia’s matched funding program for independent artists and groups. It supports artists to build fundraising skills, increase knowledge of philanthropy and arts partnerships, develop broader arts business knowledge and create sustainable sources of revenue for their work into the future. 

APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund

Applications close 21 February
Applications for the second round of funding from the new APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund are expected to open in mid-November. A total pool of A$100,000 per annum is on offer to provide funding for composers to create commissioned work that is complemented by an exploitation program.





Applications closing soon for these Jobs & Auditions:



Q Music, Digital Content Producer

Applications close 3 February
QMusic is on the hunt for a Digital Content Producer for 2017! This creative role will assist in the successful delivery of QMusic marketing activities and is best suited to an early career graphic designer. 

Opera Queensland – Artistic Director

Applications close 23 January
OperaQ is seeking a new Artistic Director who is an experienced practitioner with outstanding credentials and credibility in the opera community.

The Song Room, Marketing Coordinator

Applications close 5 February
The Song Company is seeking to appoint a Marketing Coordinator. 

SIMA, Event Manager

Applications close 6 February
An energetic and enthusiastic Events Manager is sought for Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA), based in Sydney.

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Lecturer in Music (Performance - Oboe)

Application closes 12 February
The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music seeks to appoint a Lecturer in Music (Performance - Oboe) as a teaching and research position.

Australian Music Vault, Head of Partnerships & Collaborations

Application closes 13 February
An opportunity exists for a Head of Partnerships and Collaborations to join this team in a long term fixed term contract. You will be contributing to the social, economic and cultural value of the Performing Arts Collection and Australian Music Vault.



QSO, Casual Musicians

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra supplements full-time players from a pool of casual musicians. Musicians seeking casual work with Queensland Symphony Orchestra are invited to apply by forwarding a covering letter and a copy of a current resume.





Our favourite upcoming events and performances from our community

Have violin, will travel - Gigs at Grainger 1

3 February
Conducted by Benjamin Northey this concert will feature a suite composed by jazz violinist Julian Ferraretto. Expect to hear Andalusican flamenco, North African Rai, Indian Ragas, Celtic reels and American Jazz!

Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret About Gin

9 February - 10 March, Nationally

Mother’s Ruin is a 60 minute theatrical cabaret featuring our own Maeve Marsden, with music originally performed by Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Martha Wainwright, The Popes, The Pretenders and more.

Dave Graney & The MistLY with Victoriana Gaye
10 February, Caravan Music Club, Melbourne

Australian rock musician, singer-songwriter and author Dave Graney and The MistLY in concert with special guest Victoria Gaye.  

St Kilda Festival

12 February, Melbourne
Australia’s largest free festival is coming up next month and their recently launched lineup is impressive - Drapht, Emma Louise, Daryl Braithwaite, The Smith Street Band, Archie Roach and Clairy Browne to name a few.

The Waifs 25th Anniversary Tour

2 March – 15 April, National
The Waifs are celebrating and commemorating this event by touring across Australia in March & April and by releasing 25 songs recorded live & acoustic in rural New South Wales. The album is called Ironbark, the title track and the name of the trees seen from Josh’s house whilst recording.


Key Supporters 

  • The Australian Government through the Dept of Education & Training
  • City of Sydney
  • Thomson Geer Lawyers
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