With more than 400 entries as we write, the VROOM music venue database is way in front of others, found by googling ‘music venue Australia’. Here are some examples:
- The Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society (MBAS) “presents popular live music, blues, entertainment and restaurant venues around Melbourne and country Victoria”, 36 in Melbourne and 12 “out of town”
- The nightclub-orientated clubzone.com lists 40 music venues, of which 21 in Sydney, 15 in Melbourne, and two each in Brisbane and Adelaide
- The live venue listing of eleven magazine “features contact details, locations and web addresses for your favourite music haunts in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Tasmania and more.” It lists 26 venues in Sydney, 14 in Victoria, five in Brisbane, two in Adelaide, one in Hobart and three in Canberra.
Generally speaking, websites such as these may be useful for quick guides to specific groups of consumers but do not provide systematic inventories across a wide range of genres and locations.
However, there is a remaining category of organisations which are at least potentially capable of providing a broader range of information:
- Live Performance Australia (LPA) “is the peak body for Australia’s live entertainment and performing arts industry.” According to its information handbook,1 its membership includes Australia’s major performing arts centres, entertainment centres, and commercial and heritage theatres, as well as major producers, performing arts companies, festivals, promoters, ticketing companies, and lighting and technical operators. Its annual ticketing survey has become a major statistical information source (soon to be posted in the statistical section with MCA’s acknowledgment). LPA is the trading name of the Australian Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA), which was established in 1917 and registered as an employers’ organisation under the Workplace Relations Act 1996.
- The Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific) Limited ((VMA)) was incorporated in 1992. It now has 600 members representing 300 organisations in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, and members in the USA, Canada and UK. It also runs an educational facility, the Public Venue Management School (PVMS).
- The Australasian Special Events website is billed as portal for the event industry. It lists a number of event industry associations (including relevant international organisations), as well as many other references and links of interest to the industry.
- The Festivals and Events Association ((FEA)) “is the peak body representing Australia’s exciting festival and events industry”, according to its website (currently being reconstructed).
The organisations listed in the last group cater mainly for major events. Many performances, however, take place in pubs, clubs and similar venues, where the issues are very different. Dr Shane Homan of the University of Newcastle (NSW) has conducted major research into this area. He lists his current research interests as “cultural policy, music industry, popular music, youth, and urban cultures.” For a quick impression of his writings on popular music venues, see Julie Ustinoff’s review of his 1993 book, The Mayor’s a Square: Live Music and Law and Order in Sydney.2
Hans Hoegh-Guldberg. Last updated 26 June 2007.