The organisation’s live music census released today shows there was a 14.4 per cent increase in the number of gigs in May 2016 (1101 performances) compared with in May 2015 (962).
The number of venues offering live music rose by 32.4 per cent – from 157 in May last year to 208 in May this year.
“The exercise is a snapshot of the state of play and at the very least it shows the number of gigs is increasing,” Bishop told InDaily.
“If you look at what’s happened in places like Sydney [where lockout laws have seen venues close down], Adelaide is well and truly open for business.”
Music SA conducted the census in May so that the results would not be skewed by the increased activity during South Australia’s February and March festival season or by the busy spring and Christmas periods.
Data was collected from venue websites, gig guides and social media, as well as by phone, although the census report acknowledges some venues may have been missed.
The vast majority of performances (788) were in hotels, with only four in “small venues” – a category of liquor licence introduced in 2012 to support the development of the live music sector.
“I don’t think it’s that there are more venues, I think it’s more that venues are looking more at incorporating live music into their business models,” Bishop said in explanation of the increase in venues hosting gigs.
“There have been some new venues start up, such as The Fat Controller, that have live music as a part of their business model, but I think there’s just a general confidence … we’ve invested now for a couple of years now in live music so we’re staring to see the results.”
Bishop is optimistic that the increase in gigs and live music venues will continue, especially with further changes to development and licensing rules.
The Live Music Office is currently seeking amendments to regulations that would make it easier for bars and other venues to host “low-risk” live music – which Bishop says might be defined as an acoustic duo or a single musician.
Not surprisingly, the 2016 census found that Adelaide CBD had the most live music venues (50) and hosted the most gigs (328), followed by North Adelaide, Glenelg and Norwood.
Categorised by genre, most performances (350) were by cover bands/artists, with 270 “covers/acoustic” and 264 “contemporary originals”.
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