A portrait of the politician as a young pub rocker: Live music venue reform in Australia

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13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the recent NSW state government reassessment of the role of live music venues, and the gradual inclusion of live music within broader urban cultural policy across Australia. Focusing on Sydney, it maps the live music venue at the intersection of competing policy agendas, alternatively viewed as 'vibrant', exciting sites that represent a rejuvenated inner-city culture; or as sites of disruption, encouraging anti-social activity on the margins of legality (or sometimes both). The 'rehabilitation' of live music in the eyes of key government sectors was not simply a matter of 'good' cultural policy, but the result of a combination of many factors. The paper documents and analyses a six-year campaign by various stakeholders to implement noise, building code, late-night trading and liquor law reforms designed to ensure the survival of live performance venues and scenes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-256
Number of pages14
JournalPopular Music
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008

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