Earlier this month, Melbourne won the rights to host the global Music Cities Convention in April 2018. The win recognised its efforts using the landmark $22.2m Music Works strategy to provide strategic investment in local industry businesses and initiatives.

Now, following requests for strategic advice from global cities such as London, Bangkok and Amsterdam, the Victorian music industry has released a 10 Point Plan highlighting the steps it took to grow and nurture its live community.

The Plan, which actually goes to 11 (like Spinal Tap), features initiatives and best practice guidelines employed over the past seven years.

It notes that its membership on the Liquor Control Advisory Council (Point #3) ensures contemporary music is not linked to the kinds of high-risk behaviour that could lead to state-wide ‘lockouts’.

Point #4 suggests cities should “present a ‘’white paper’ to the State Government clearly outlining the case for regulatory reform and investment to support venues.”

In September 2014, Music Victoria introduced its Agent of Change principle to better protect venues from noise complaints by new residential developments. The principle is currently being studied in Amsterdam with the city looking to adopt it.

The Plan also encourages the establishment of a live music roundtable (Point #5) comprised of key industry and government representatives across government agencies. Victoria’s roundtable helped to form a Sexual Harassment Taskforce for safe venues.

Point #7 outlines the benefits of its “Best Practice Guidelines for Music Venues” and Point #10 points to the city’s SLAM (Save Live Australia’s Music) rallies – “if all else fails, rally the music community”, notes the Plan.

The 10 Point Plan is based on initiatives developed with partners and stakeholders including the State Government of Victoria, Fair Go 4 Live Music, Save Live Australia’s Music (S.L.A.M) and venue and studio owners, promoters and academics.

The Victorian Live Music 10 Point Plan

1. Know your value – collect and publish data
2. All aboard – Political buy-in
3. Keep the doors open – “No lockouts here”
4. Build your case – Present a clear, evidence-based plan
5. Come together – Industry and government work together to achieve mutual benefits
6. Localise it – Council commitment to live music
7. Get smart – Excellence though best practice
8. Get with the program – Attract funding and initiatives/programs to benefit industry
9. Protect the players – There is no music without the creatives
10. Rock n’ roll High School
11. The Circuit Breaker – If all else fails, rally the troops

International music strategy expert, Dr. Shain Shapiro said: “When a city or region commits to developing their music infrastructure, they must realise that it’s not a race, but a

“When a city or region commits to developing their music infrastructure, they must realise that it’s not a race, but a never ending process that has to continually be measured, refined and tested.‘’Victoria is one of the best at not just realising this, but also putting it into practice. This 10 point plan is demonstrating their commitment to ensuring music remains at the top of the policy agenda in Melbourne and the region and should be commended.”

‘’Victoria is one of the best at not just realising this, but also putting it into practice. This 10 point plan is demonstrating their commitment to ensuring music remains at the top of the policy agenda in Melbourne and the region and should be commended.”

Music Victoria CEO, Patrick Donovan said:

“Melbourne, Australia has already got more live music venues per capita than anywhere in the world and a diverse range of artists that bring them alive every night of the week. It’s in our best interests to have strong live music circuits all over the world. It has worked for us and will be of huge benefit to music communities everywhere.”

Alex Mann, Acting Live Performance Official from the British Musicians’ Union’s Live Performance Department said:

“We’re really impressed by the strength of Victoria’s music offer, particularly the way their live scene is so neatly and harmoniously woven into the city’s complex infrastructure. By using legislative measures such as Agent of Change, Victoria’s music industry has shown that it’s possible for live music to run alongside planning, licensing and environmental priorities in a way that works for everyone. It’s a really great example for aspiring and established music cities around the world”.