Free live music events will be held across Western Sydney, in pubs, cafes, public spaces and non-traditional venues, like hair salons, as part of the Western Sydney Live and Local Strategic Initiative. Enabled by $150,000 funding from Arts NSW and coordinated by the Live Music Office, the programme involves Blacktown, Camden, Fairfield, Parramatta and Wollondilly councils.
“The Live and Local initiative is about the local community working together to create vibrant and innovative entertainment for everyone to enjoy,” said Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant. “Western Sydney has a proud history of contributing to Australian music and these events will add to that esteemed playlist by showcasing local veteran performers and future leading talent.”
Wollondilly Shire Council will use its funding to bring more live music to IlluminARTe, an annual light and arts festival that attracts 20,000 attendees. The Shire will also add two micro festivals to the 2017 calendar. Meanwhile, Camden Council will work with local businesses to organise two, multi-venue festivals featuring emerging and established artists. And City of Parramatta residents can look forward to a one-day event, held across traditional venues, such as pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants, as well as non-traditional venues, including libraries and retail shops.
Fairfield City Council is developing a programme that will see up-coming musicians working alongside professionals, culminating in a festival on Fairfield’s The Crescent. In Blacktown, there will be a series of lunchtime gigs, to happen over four Thursdays in a row in public spaces and local businesses.
What all events have in common is that they are free to the public, create jobs for local musicians and do not require major disruptions, such as road closures.
John Wardle, policy director at the Live Music Office, said, “The Live Music Office is proud to be in partnership with Western Sydney councils and we look forward to working with council staff, local businesses and musicians to celebrate live music in the region.”
The NSW Government has promised $7.5 million to Western Sydney’s arts and cultural scene over the next four years.