Queensland’s live music industry is the second largest in Australia, as reported in the Brisbane Times today (Queensland’s music economy rocking):
Victoria may enjoy a reputation as a mecca for gigging musicians, but a new national industry report indicates live, venue-based musos might want to consider a move to Queensland.
The Australasian Performing Right Association’s report has valued the Australian live music industry at $1.2 billion, with a state-by-state breakdown suggesting Queensland was second only to New South Wales as the highest contributor in the financial year ending in 2010.
Authors Ernst and Young found Queensland was the second largest employer of the country’s estimated 14,866 full-time equivalent venue artists, followed by Victoria and Western Australia.
About 3514 FTE live musicians, earning an average salary of $43,409 a year, were booked by local venues, 97 per cent of which were hotels, bars and registered clubs.
I can think of two reasons why Queensland would come ahead of traditional second place getter Victoria, particularly that Queensland has:
- lots of pubs with beer gardens (e.g. RE, Normanby)
- a more dispersed and regional population that loves its country music (e.g. check out the Gympie Muster)
Any other reasons?
Path dependence – since the Joh era there has been a strong tradition of alternative or indie music, many of which cross over. Saints (70s), Go Betweens (80s), Powderfinger (90s) off the top of my head. These successes encourage the grassroots and provide the volume for venues.
Great point, Gavin. Thanks.