NSW Contemporary Music Strategy

Byron Bay Blues Festival. Image by Lachlan Douglas.

Byron Bay Blues Festival
Image by Lachlan Douglas

Create NSW is working with the music sector to develop the goals, strategies, actions, and priority areas that will guide the NSW Government’s future initiatives and investment in contemporary music across the State.

Why is contemporary music important?

NSW has a wonderfully talented group of musicians, bands and artists across diverse genres and styles of contemporary music. This talent is expressed through rock, pop, dance, blues, hip hop, R&B, metal, electronica, folk, soul, classical, jazz and improvised music, and art form cross-overs such as sound art, cabaret and music theatre.

These artists are supported by a passionate group of industry professionals, sector representatives and a music ecosystem committed to sharing the benefits of music participation with communities in NSW, Australia and around the world.

Music can have a profound effect on the social and cultural development of communities. It expresses cultural values and enables meanings to be shared, brings people together, and promotes the development and maintenance of individual, group, cultural and national identities.

As well as its social and cultural value, contemporary music is a multi-billion dollar industry. It employs tens of thousands of people, reaches an audience of millions, and makes a major contribution to Australia’s copyright industries. A significant share of Australia’s music economy is contributed by the contemporary music industry in NSW.

What is Create NSW doing?

As part of the Night-Time Economy (NTE) Taskforce’s work to implement the Government Response to the NTE Roundtable Actions, Create NSW has been developing a NSW Contemporary Music Strategy.

In 2018 representatives from the sector contributed their time and valuable insights to guide the development of the Strategy. The consultation process included an 18 member advisory group, a series of workshops and focus groups around NSW and a survey of musicians that attracted 1,300 responses.

Create NSW has developed a draft strategy based on discussions with the sector and drawing on the submissions and evidence provided to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Music and Arts Economy in New South Wales.

While the strategy is under consideration the Government has responded to calls for contemporary music specialists to provide input into the work of Create NSW.

As part of the new streamlined Arts and Cultural Funding Program, a new artform-specific Board will be established for contemporary music. The Board will allow for new conversations across the sector, while informing funding recommendations and delivering important gap analysis of the State’s contemporary music ecology.

The Government has continued to provide opportunities for contemporary music creators, organisations and audiences. In 2018–2019 alone the Government committed:

  • $10.35 million in Arts and Cultural Development Program funding to music-focused programs and projects
  • $1 million for the Music Now program
  • $13 million to multi-artform events and programs with music-focused events
  • $2 million through the Regional Cultural Fund (RCF) for regional conservatoriums and a further $7.58 million for performing arts spaces that host live music.

Create NSW has continued to build support in NSW for Make Music Day, a free celebration of music around the world. This year Create NSW partnered with Sydney Trains, TAFE NSW and the Sydney Conservatorium to enable musicians and choirs to activate and reimagine a range of spaces from moving trains to busy transport hubs and St James tunnel.

For further information about the Contemporary Music Strategy, please contact:

Augusta Supple
Senior Manager (Strategic Projects and Engagement)
E: augusta.supple@create.nsw.gov.au

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