What's your scene? Tell us your ideas for Sydney's live music

Hoodoo Gurus singer Dave Faulkner and a panel of music industry heavyweights will star in a City Conversation next week that will take a close look at Sydney's live music scene.

Live music and performance is a much-loved and important activity for many Sydneysiders, but we need more venues for artists to perform in, and we need to make it easier for people to see them play.

Sydney's live music scene has struggled recently, with some iconic venues closing or going into receivership and musicians finding it harder than ever to find gigs.

I've established a Live Music Taskforce to look at the issues, see what has worked elsewhere, and report back with practical steps the City could take. This City Conversation is an important step in the process.

Dave Faulkner - who started with late 1970s punk band The Victims, before moving to Sydney in the early 1980s and starting the Hoodoo Gurus and more recently the Dig It Up! Festival - will talk about the highs and lows and red tape of a 30-year career in the industry.

He'll be joined by people with years of experience playing music, booking bands, running venues and programming radio for the event at Lower Town Hall on 26 June.

Speakers on the night include:

  • Dave Faulkner - singer and guitarist with one of Australia's most enduring live acts, the Hoodoo Gurus, and founder of the now annual Dig It Up! Festival;
  • John Wardle - musician and entertainment policy activist who helped establish small bars in Sydney and the NSW Government's restrictive Place of Public Entertainment regulations, and chairman of the City's Live Music Task Force;
  • Mark Gerber - founder of the art, performance and live music venue the Oxford Art Factory;
  • Meagan Loader - program director for the Triple J network and founder of FBI Radio;
  • Brett Murrihy - founder and chief executive of Artist Voice, one of Australia's leading music artists' agencies.

The night will round-off with performances by Sydney psychedelic-pop band The Laurels and country-folk duo Jep and Dep (Jessica Cassar and Darren Cross, formerly of Gerling/E.L.F)

The event follows the City's Live Music 101 seminar held at Customs House last month. I joined around 150 people at the seminar and was impressed by the number of people eager to have live music or performance in their venue or business.

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