"Reviving Sydney's live music scene is a challenge that will require long-term investment from all levels of government": Clover Moore, centre, with the band High-Tails. Photo: Edwina Pickles
Loud drumming, bellowing trumpets and the gentle lilt of violins may soon be echoing through inner city suburbs at night and weekends after the City of Sydney decided to push ahead with plans to promote the live music industry.
Allowing students to rehearse in council-owned properties ''at nominated times out of school hours'' is one of the schemes from the City's Live Music Matters report that council will speed up, even though the plan is open for public comment for five more weeks.
Hosting more concerts in local venues and town halls and trialling free parking for musicians outside performance venues have also been backed by the council.
''Reviving Sydney's live music scene is a challenge that will require long-term investment from all levels of government but the City is committed to taking immediate action wherever we can,'' lord mayor Clover Moore says.
She says the plan to revive Sydney's music scene, devised by the council's Live Music and Performance Taskforce, has widespread public support and was unanimously supported by the council. However, a council spokeswoman says some residents were concerned about the potential growth in live music interfering with the peace and quiet of their neighbourhood.
In response, the council will set up a mediation service for resolving complaints about live music in an attempt to head off problems such as the noise dispute between the owners of Play Bar in Surry Hills and the office of NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon.
''Establishing a free and independent mediation service will give people an avenue to have their concerns addressed … and help them work towards a solution,'' Cr Moore says.
The taskforce chairman and co-director of the National Live Music Office, John Wardle, says mediation rather than calling city rangers was the mature way to handle noise complaints.
''Encouraging both parties to understand each other's position is a wise and mature approach rather than arbitrarily calling the rangers,'' he says.
Parking is particularly difficult for musicians, Mr Wardle says.
''Finding parking in the city at peak times on weeknights and weekends is increasingly tough, with musicians often having to use no standing zones to get heavy gear in and out of venues every time they go to work - and a fine can cost them their day's pay.''
The Live Music Matters action plan is on public exhibition until January 17. See sydneyyoursay.com.au.