Champions of Wollongong's beleaguered live-music scene have joined forces with national live-music advocates in a bid to overcome challenges facing area venues.
Wollongong's Jessie Hunt is campaigning for a live music accord to be written into the city's cultural policy, recognising the benefits to employment, youth engagement, culture and the city's night-time economy.
Ms Hunt plans to speak to the council at its March 11 meeting.
She suggested cultural funds could be used for measures, including soundproofing of venues, that would allow live music to flourish.
"We need to address the fact that we can't keep live music venues open," Ms Hunt said.
"We do have a cultural budget and at the moment it's not being used."
Yesterday Ms Hunt and other area advocates met Ianto Ware, Australia's first national live-music co-ordinator for Sounds Australia, and Sydney Live Music Taskforce head John Wardle.
The group toured area live-music venues including The Patch, part of Fairy Meadow's Cabbage Tree Hotel.
Performances at The Patch have been cancelled due to a disturbance complaint to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.
The liquor regulator is poised to decide whether live music should be permanently restricted at the venue, a move Mr Wardle said would be "a great loss to the community".
He said policing of venues in Wollongong was more stringent than in Sydney.
"The issues that are being faced by Wollongong are in some ways similar, if not worse," he said.
"I think we're seeing an approach from licensing [police] that is much more hardline."
The visitors met area advocates including Robert Carr and Jeb Taylor, band booker for The Patch, and Throsby MP Stephen Jones, who said he was concerned by the cancellations at the Fairy Meadow venue.
"If we want to have a vibrant music industry in this town we've got to have venues for them to play at," Mr Jones said.
A 2011 survey commissioned by the Australasian Performing Right Association-The Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society found that venue-based live music contributed $1.2 billion to the economy and created nearly 15,000 full-time jobs across Australia.
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