Fringe Ignite Festival Launch

(4pm, Sunday 31 August 2014, Trinity Bar 505 Crown Street)

Thank you, Kerri [Glasscock, MC]. Hello, everyone - welcome!

The City is delighted to once again join with the Fringe Festival, with APRA AMCOS and the National Live Music Office to celebrate the fabulous talents of our musicians.

Shortage of talent has never been a problem in Sydney, but in recent years, a shortage of venues has been. So we set up our Live Music Taskforce in 2103 to help remedy the problem, and in April this year, we adopted the Action Plan.

One of the recommendations we've already acted on is the $20,000 commitment to the APRA/AMCOS Live and Local campaign and to provide affordable space in City-owned properties for artists to work, and in some cases, to live as well.

Affordability is the key if we are to have a self-renewing live music culture.

We're also lobbying the NSW Government to develop a fund to support live music and performance out of the hefty gambling revenues.

And we're also looking to simplify regulations around live music venues and to develop a marketing strategy with the live music and performance sector.

We were excited to announce in June the agreement we've negotiated with developer Greenland Australia to build a $25 million state-of-the-art creative hub in its residential tower on Bathurst Street.

We've signed a 99-year lease for the hub for a peppercorn rent through a Voluntary Planning Agreement with the developers and we hope this is the forerunner of other agreements that will encourage Sydney's tremendous creative industry sector.

The hub on five floors will have facilities for music, along with other art forms, and include rehearsal spaces, studios, offices and production rooms, as well as a live/work apartment for a creative fellowship program.

We know the audiences are there - a full 95 per cent of all submissions to our Task Force supported live music. We will continue to work with musicians and the industry including venue owners and licensees, to give our artists the opportunities they deserve.

This afternoon's "shop front" performances are a brilliant way to do that, and a great prelude to a month of live music ranging from Paddington to Kings Cross, to Surry Hills, Redfern and Chippendale, to Erko, Newtown and Enmore, to St Peter's and Marrickville, to Leichhardt, Glebe and Ultimo.

What a great way to celebrate Sydney music and musicians. I'm delighted to declare the Festival open and to wish you all a fabulous time!