SA was the first State in the country to set up a dedicated Music Development Office within government focussed on supporting the contemporary music industry. And that’s just one of the many reasons why it’s the ideal place for musicians to live and work, says Lucas Day.
If you ask Lucas Day, Adelaide is the ideal place to foster a career as a musician. The musical all-rounder, who supports himself with a guitar, foot drums and his incomparable voice, has built an impressive – and dedicated – fanbase.
While Lucas forges his own path, a number of South Australian organisations work hard behind the scenes to support artists like him. Between the State Government’s dedicated Music Development Office (MDO) and not-for-profit MusicSA, there is strong advocacy for South Australia’s impressive music industry.
With $10 million in the SA Government’s See it LIVE election commitment and another $9.8 million across the Live Music Events Fund, support grants and fellowship programs since the Pandemic, our music industry has been guided through a tough period to come out the other side..
“Music is the heartbeat of this state” – and that’s why we need more people to go out and see live music, says MDO manager Laura Vozzo.
“Grass roots venues are where you see the new emerging stars of tomorrow.”
Local talent to rival world’s best
With Adelaide sometimes being skipped on big international music tours, we have a reputation for ‘missing out’. But the impact of the work of the MDO is felt by the burgeoning creatives in the state.
Adelaide is a UNESCO City of Music – one of just 59 in the world – and has some of the best musical education institutions on the planet.
Plus, our underground music scene rivals some of the best. Our suburbs and town centres are bursting at the seams with music from homegrown talent. (Speaking of homegrown talent, these names might ring a bell: Guy Sebastian, Sia, Hilltop Hoods, Cold Chisel.)
Want more? Lucas Day joins Matt, Anna and Tim on the Hot Topics podcast. Listen now!
We want YOU to embrace live music!
With so much good music at our doorstep, the impetus is on South Australian audiences to get out there and buy tickets – and what better time to do so than Good Music Month!
Good Music Month is a festival supported by the MDO’s Live Music Events Fund, consisting of over 600 live music events across greater Adelaide and regional South Australia. Check out the gigs happening near you.
There’s more to going to a local gig than a relatively inexpensive ticket and great live sound. Our music scene celebrates the people that help create it.
“Facilitating and supporting initiatives like Good Music Month that highlight and promote South Australia’s live music scene by continuing to support the venues that put live music on their stages is critical in driving vibrancy and culture within our state,” says Laura.
The future of music in SA … and beyond
While the MDO’s efforts help get South Aussies more airtime on Triple J, and artists like Electric Fields build international audiences, the industry is rapidly shifting. Radio play and record deals don’t run the business like they once did, but with disruptions to the tried and true pathways to success comes freedom.
The mainstream has become less relevant, and while creating new and divergent music – leveraging technology like AI – artists can find audiences that were once not accessible.
“I think we have a huge advantage and opportunity to get in front of what we know is coming and I think South Australia could lead the way here,” says Laura.
“We work really closely with Sounds Australia to ensure we capitalise on opportunities for our artists in key markets all over the world,” she says.
First comes music, then comes tourism and hospitality
The effects of supporting the music industry are felt by the broader entertainment industry, tourism and hospitality. Adelaide institutions like the Lion Arts Factory thrive when the entire South Australian music scene is healthy. With the growing global reach of SA’s music scene, our musical heart is beating well for the whole state.
Music performs a vital role in South Australia, and further developing this sets us up to be a destination not just for audiences, but for artists who want the freedom and support to make something here, too. If audiences buy tickets and make the most of our incredible local talent, there’s no telling what might happen.
Still not convinced? Laura recommends reading more about the MDO’s work: “When you look at our suite of funding and investment – you can see that this supportive framework provides a pathway for development, sustainability and growth of both artists and music businesses to ensure we have a thriving ecosystem from grassroots to global”.
Head to the Good Music Month website to see what’s happening around the state in November (free events included!).
Find out more about how the Music Development Office is supporting South Australia’s music scene here.