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Study: Live Music's Economic Impact Includes Food and Beverage Sales

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A report on the economic impact of live music in Australia was recently released that revealed the significant contribution of one aspect of the music industry on a nation's economic health. Its focus on live music venues such as clubs and hotels, rather than arenas, also offers a nice argument for supporting such businesses on a local level. Interestingly, the majority of sales were of food and beverages.

Ernst & Young conducted the study, Economic contribution of the venue-based live music industry in Australia, for the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). It focused on the 2009/2010 financial year and is a quite powerful argument for the value of live music.

It should be noted that the study defined the “venue-based live music industry" as those “hotels/bars, clubs, restaurants/cafes and nightclubs licensed with APRA that stage live music." That means a lot of places in which music has an economic impact, including arenas, are left out. That also excludes settings where music is key to a successful event, from house parties to festivals to churches. So the overall impact of live music is much larger than a quick glance at the findings might indicate.

Key Findings include:

The live music industry generated gross revenues of $1.21 billion during the 2009/10 financial year. This was driven by patron spend at live music performances which included ticket sales to live performances and food and drink.

These revenues were generated from an estimated 41.97 million patrons attending approximately 328,000 venue-based live music performances at 3,904 live music venues across Australia.

$652 million total profits and wages, or value add, were generated by the industry.

The venue-based live music industry supports employment of over 14,800 full time equivalent positions.

One of the most startling bits of data from this report is the fact that of the $1.21 billion in revenue, 16.7% was from ticket sales while 83.3% was from food and beverage sales. Such data is another reminder that the music industry has a significant economic impact beyond such elements as music and ticket sales.

There's a lot more there for those who like to dig into such things and both the executive summary and the full report can be downloaded for free.

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