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‘Live music capital’ Melbourne has most venues per capita

The Victorian capital has one music venue per 9,503 residents, compared to one per 18,554 in New York and one per 34,350 in London

By IQ on 12 Apr 2018

Melbourne's Luna Park and Palais Theatre

Melbourne's Luna Park and Palais Theatre

image © mossimoinc/Flickr

Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, is the “live music capital of the world”, with the most music venues on the planet per capita, according to the newly published Melbourne Live Music Census 2017.

The census, produced by industry association Music Victoria, reveals the Victorian capital – last August ranked the world’s most liveable city for the seventh year running – has 533 music venues, or one per 9,503 residents, compared to one per 34,350 in London, one per 18,554 in New York and one per 19,607 in Los Angeles.

Other key findings include:

  • 2017 live music attendance of 17.5 million – an increase of 12% from the 15.6m recorded in the 2012 census
  • 55% of venues reported their audience had increased in the past 12 months, with only 16% recording
  • Live music attracted more attendance than the Australian Football League, horse racing series Spring Racing Carnival, top-tier football competition A-League, basketball, netball, the National Rugby League, cricket and the Australian Grand Prix combined

Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan tells TMN he attributes the growth in both venue numbers and audience sizes to the rise of part-time live music venues such as as house parties and lounge sessions. He also puts it down to the popularity of live music at non-traditional venues, such as sporting events and museums and galleries.

Donovan sees the increase in alternative venues as “a real positive” and says traditional venues are not threatened.

Using data from Songkick, IQ revealed last year that New York remains the world’s leading city for live music by number of years, with London the biggest in Europe.

Read the full Melbourne Live Music Census here.


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