What a way to welcome in 2020, with Music SA announcing four stunning news items that confirm Adelaide’s strength is its live music sector.

  1. Live Music Census shows sustained growth
  2.  Umbrella Festival set to spread regionally
  3. Music SA releases new Live Music Toolkit for councils
  4. Superloop Adelaide 500 local music program expands

For the 5th year running Music SA has undertaken the Live Music Census to ascertain the health of live music sector. In summary, it shows that throughout May 2019 there were 1623 gigs in 309 licensed venues across the state. This extrapolates to nearly 20,000 gigs a year. In Adelaide metro there were 1315 gigs across 211 licensed venues, which is a 23% increase in gigs from last year’s census. 39% of gigs were original and 61% were covers. Regionally, gigs showed a steady 3% increase from 2018.

CEO of Music SA Lisa Bishop says “The live music census reveals that the level of gigging live in licensed venues in Adelaide is positive and we have witnessed sustained growth over the last 5 years. This is grass roots testament that contemporary musicians and bricks n’ mortar pubs are contributing to the mantel of Adelaide as a UNESCO City of Music. Look no further than the amazing number of bushfire fundraiser gigs in your local gig guide to see this in action.”

Click here for official Music SA Live Music Census 2019

Building on this, the annual winter based live music celebration – the Umbrella Festival – is set to return for a 5th year, expanding regionally across South Australia in 2020 thanks to a grant of $200,000 from the Marshall Government. It builds on the city-based funding the festival receives from the Music Development Office and SA Tourism Commission’s Live Music Events Fund and the City of Adelaide. Last year’s event saw over 380 events across over 111 venues, with 1300 musicians taking part and performing across 20 contemporary music genres.

In 2019 the Umbrella Festival was nominated for a National Live Music Award for Best Live Event. This is an open access festival and registrations for $25 per event open February 24th.

For 2020, Music SA has funds available to assist regional communities to curate specific Umbrella celebrations that showcase local musicians. Music SA will work with regional folks to help build local skills in live music delivery and promotion.

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said “Expanding Umbrella will help increase regional engagement, activity and live music performance opportunities, and support the growth of the creative industries in South Australia.”

Music SA will be holding a series of information sessions for interested musicians, venue managers, promoters, council staff, event managers and anyone else interested. The sessions include:

  • Adelaide CBD – St Paul’s Creative Centre (200 Pulteney Street, Adelaide 5000) on Wednesday 26 Feb (10:30am and 5:30pm)
  • Port Adelaide – Pirate Life Brewing (18 Baker Street, Port Adelaide 5015 ) on Tuesday 25 Feb (10:30am)
  • Holdfast Bay – Beach Burrito (upstairs, 56 Jetty Road, Glenelg 5045) on Monday 24 Feb (5:30pm)
  • The Adelaide Hills – the Stirling Hotel (52 Mt Barker Road, Stirling 5152) on Thursday 27 February (10:00am)

In support of this regional expansion of the Umbrella Festival, Music SA has launched the first ever Live Music Toolkit, a practical resource to assist local and regional councils in activating more live music.

It is the first time that councils have had access to such a comprehensive resource, and Umbrella 2020 is the perfect opportunity to link council efforts with a major music activation.

Made possible with a grant from the Local Government Association Research and Development Fund, the toolkit emphasises the economic and social benefits of live music to local communities.

“Live music is a tourism drawcard, provides economic benefits to local businesses, helps with the wellbeing and career aspirations of young people and has also been shown to connect Australians from diverse backgrounds living in multicultural communities,” Ms Bishop said.

Click here for official Music SA Live Music Toolkit

And in another piece of positive live music news, the Adelaide Superloop 500 and Music SA’s 9-year partnership will be significantly expanded in 2020. Spectators will now be able to enjoy over 40 performances across 5 stages by local musicians, in addition to the race day concerts with national headliners, including SA’s own Hilltop Hoods. This is an increase from 8 local acts in previous years.

Photo Credit Helen Page: Superloop Adelaide 500

Bishop goes on to say “These are positive indicators about the health of the live music sector in SA. The next step is to review how much contemporary musicians are being paid (or not!) to perform live, and I’m looking forward to the results of a national live music remuneration survey to be published in 2020. 13% of the respondents are from SA so it should provide us with some important workable data, which has been missing to date”.

Information on the national survey can be found on the Australian Music Network’s website http://www.amin.org.au/