Touring in Australia can be very rewarding. Audiences across the country love music and people in regional centres invariably appreciate good music coming to town. Challenges include our vast distances, small centres, and the huge variety of places and spaces where music is played.
It can also be hard to make the economics of touring add up. However most musicians and groups enjoy touring and find it most worthwhile.
There are plenty of resources to assist music touring in Australia. Here are a few:
Arts Centres and Concert Halls
For music styles suited to arts centres and concert halls, a well-developed network of touring agencies and peak bodies work in cooperation with funding bodies to organise and underwrite tours. These include:
Performing Arts Exchange: The Performing Arts Exchange (PAX) is APACA’s new flagship networking and development event. It’s a face-to-face market which brings together producers and presenters from across the country to create and maximise touring opportunities and build relationships. The Australian Performing Arts Centres Association (APACA) is the national peak body representing and supporting performing arts presenters from the iconic Sydney Opera House to remote regional centres.
State Touring Agencies
These agencies coordinate tours within states and cooperate nationally. Some administer touring funding.
- ArtBack NT
- arTour Queensland
- Arts on Tour NSW
- Country Arts SA
- Country Arts WA
- Regional Arts Victoria
- Tasmania Performs
- The Performing Arts Touring Alliance peak body for touring, with useful information
- Australian Performing Arts Centre Association national body representing and supporting performing arts centres
- Northern Australia Regional Performing Arts Association
- Playing Australia Administered by the Australia Council for national performing arts touring. They also have other touring programs.
- Playing Queensland Administered by Arts Queensland for touring in Queensland
- Touring Victoria Administered by Arts Victoria for touring in Victoria
- Contemporary Music Touring Program administered by the Australia Council for national touring including regional areas by Australian musicians performing original contemporary music.
Some state touring agencies also administer touring funding.
Contemporary Music Venues
For contemporary music – bands and gigs – arts centres may work, but it’s just as likely your tour will take in diverse venues including clubs, pubs, open air venues and many more.
Touring Agencies and Peak Bodies
Many of the organisations listed above can provide advice, some also have funding programs
You can book your own tour but for large acts booking agents are an essential resource. The role of a booking agent is explained on our careers site. Your State Music Industry Association can also provide information on booking agents in your state.
Australians love festivals and we reputedly have the most of any country on the planet! Building a tour around one or more festivals is an excellent approach, generally including other venues as well. Use your network to identify and contact festivals, and while we couldn’t possibly list them all we have a few leads below to get you started:
- Folk Alliance Festivals Directory
- Illawarra Folk Festival
- National Folk Festival
- Port Fairy Folk Festival
- Woodford Folk Festival
Arts and Music Festivals
Each capital has one of more high profile arts or music festival, including:
- Adelaide Festival of Arts
- Brisbane Festival
- Canberra International Music Festival
- Darwin Festival
- Melbourne International Arts Festival
- Perth International Arts Festival
- Queensland Music Festival
- Sydney Festival
- Ten Days on the Island
- Sydney Fringe Festival
- Adelaide Fringe Festival
- Melbourne Fringe Festival
- Brisbane Fringe Festival
- Perth Fringe World
Regional Classical Music Festivals
- Australian Festival of Chamber Music
- Huntington Music Festival
- TarraWarra Chamber Music Festival
- Vasse Felix Chamber Music Festival