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Thoughts on Live Music
By Neil Wedd

I have been busy mentoring for SBMS as well as talking to people about music business happenings. I actually went to an ATO information session and it was refreshing to see the ATO have changed their focus into one that explains things and provides easy to use information. My dealings on the phone got things resolved very quickly (in my favour).

I have a new venue that I will be announcing soon, working in collaboration with another promoter.

I have just read a story on tax offsets for live music.

This would be great and help the business. Musicians and venue operators will need to find a way to entertain customers and create an atmosphere where they want to stay.

In my experience live music doesn't make lots of money for venues but it provides promotion and foot traffic. If the venue can get people to come earlier to meet up with friends, eat first, have a drink or two, then see the entertainment, then hang around afterwards then it has worked out well. In the old days you would call it a scene.

But live music only has a couple of breaks to serve people so it can be hard to get the bar sales. People drink at home then go out. So the environment is important to make people want to be there.

People have changed their habits. Music is important to people, but the consumption is changing. Not everybody wants to stand in a venue and watch music. They are just as happy to be out in bars with friends either talking or having music in the background.

Older audiences like to sit down for a show. It can be hard to sell admission if they can't sit.

We are going to have to keep making great efforts to get people out to experience the joy of music.

That means bands and venues need to create a great atmosphere. Performers need to have great songs, a great show, something that makes people talk and want to be involved.

We all hope for a new band to lead a revolution. But I reckon thats old thinking. People listen to so much music, they get enthusiasms that can die quickly. The problem for bands that blow up quickly is that they don't always have enough great songs. In the past you worked your way up and once people got the idea you already had the chops and a bunch of road tested songs. Now somebody likes your song, you are on the airwaves, your friends can share and influence others to get you heard through the many means available.

And just as quickly people can turn because they go to see you play live and they go "Yeah/Na". And a negative review reaches 16 people and a positive one reaches 4.

The world keeps turning, and music is one of the things that creates great joy. Whilst the way we consume music is different, the sheer happiness on people's faces when they see live music never changes. It's so uplifting. Let's keep on making the world a happier place.

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