John Wardle is one of Australia’s foremost advocates for live music. A musician and teacher, his research and campaigning work has led to involvement in music policy at both state and federal level. As a leader in the Raise the Bar campaign, he was instrumental in the removal of New South Wales’ Place of Public Entertainment Licenses in 2009, which has freed up the provision of live music there. He was also a source of advice for the UK Live Music Forum’s campaign for exemption for small gigs, which culminated in this year’s Live Music Act. His latest success comes with the introduction of the Small Venue License in South Australia, which does away with the ‘needs test’ and a separate process for an entertainment license. Here, he discusses this new development and explains what work there is still be done.
This is a video from the Live Music Exchange, Leeds event that featured a panel of academics and representatives from Leeds and beyond. The theme of the conference was ‘Interesting Times for Live Music’ and the panel discussed the threats and opportunities to local live music in the current economic downturn. Chaired by Martin Cloonan (University of Glasgow), the panel featured, Simon Frith (University of Edinburgh / Mercury Prize), Whiskas (Live at Leeds Unconference / Honour Before Glory / ¡Forward Russia!), Nick Simcock (Dead Young Records/Oporto), Ben Kirby (Manager of The Subways).