On 18 March, Music Victoria published an updated version of its Best Practice Guidelines for Live Music Venues, containing several new chapters, dealing with sexual harassment, attendance of minors at gigs, protection of hearing, planning planning law reform and copyright.
Where sexual harassment is concerned, the guide provides advice about treatment of patrons and staff, as well as tips for cultivating a safe, respectful culture. “Venue owners should not direct staff to flirt with patrons and/or dress in a manner that makes the staff member feel uncomfortable,” reads page 31. “Staff should monitor patrons they believe may be the target of, or vulnerable to an instance of sexual harassment or assault, and actively monitor or check their well-being.” Furthermore, venues are encouraged to promote gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness.
Chapter Nine deals with “hosting live music events where minors may be present”. The guide recognises that underage events are important for generating interest in live music among young people and for teaching appropriate behaviour. Venue owners are advised to sell affordable tickets, establish crowd control plans and refuse to tolerate harassment of young people.
Copyright compliance receives attention in Chapter Eight. Live and recorded music is covered, with an emphasis on the importance of contacting APRA AMCOS to check legal requirements and the PPCA to attain licences for recordings.
The first edition of Music Victoria’s Best Practice Guidelines for Live Music Venues was published in 2012. Music Victoria developed it through the Live Music Roundtable, in collaboration with the Victorian Government and music industry representatives. The guide outlines minimum requirements for hosting live music, as well as suggestions for “best practice”. Topics initially covered include sound management and noise complaints, the creation of safe live music environments, and the development of successful long-term relationships between musicians and venues. Best Practice Guidelines for Live Music Venues are available online.