• capital city: Canberra, ACT
  • population: 23,130,000
  • area: 7.7 million sq. km.
  • languages spoken: English
  • annual record sales: $376,100,000 (USD 2014)
  • rank: 6th largest worldwide
  • currency: Australian dollar AUD
  • 88% of Australians live in an urban area and 80% within 100 kilometers of the coast

The live performance industry in Australia is in good shape with approximately 17.93 million tickets sold in 2013. Festivals make up a huge part of the live performance market,with a vast array of both large and small-scale music events. The peak summer season of festivals runs from December through to March.  “The Music Market in Australia and New Zealand”

Who’s who in the Australian music market

Falls Festival panorama

Regional Music Industry Associations of Australia

MusicACT, Canberra

Music NSW, New South Wales

MusicNT, Northern Territory

Music SA, South Australia

Music Tasmania, Tasmania

Music Victoria, Victoria

QMusic, Queensland

West Australian Music, Western Australia


Australian Recording Industry Association
Our primary objective is to advance the interests of the Australian record industry by ensuring ARIA is a cohesive, effective and respected organisation.
A.C.N. 002 692 944, PO Box Q20, Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230
P: +61 (2) 8569 1144
CEO: Dan Rosen
General Manager: Lyn Small


Australian Independent Record Labels Association
AIR’s primary purpose is to foster an increasing marketplace for Australian independent music and assist in the long-term development, growth and success of Australia’s independent recording industry.
633 Queensberry St, North Melbourne Vic 3051
P: + 61 (0) 3 9329 7105
E: dan[at]
CEO: Dan Nevin


Musicians Union of Australia
The MUA continues to be the support network for all musicians through the ever changing circumstances of our industry. The need for our union today, in the current deregulated environment, is as great as ever.

Australasian Performing Right Assoc./Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society Ltd.
APRA AMCOS looks after the performance, communication and mechanical copyright of songwriters, composers and music publishers in Australia.

Australian Music Retailers Association
AMRA is the industry association for recorded music retailers. It works to protect and further the interests of recorded music stores Australia-wide.

Australian Music Association
The voice of the music products (instruments & technology) industry and grow music making in Australia.

Association of Artist Managers
AAM brings together the industry’s leading music managers providing a peak body to address the issues facing managers and their artists.


The National Live Music Office
The Live Music Office works to increase opportunities for live music in Australia by identifying and advocating for better policy, regulation and strategy.
16 Mountain Street, Ultimo NSW 2007
Policy Director: John Wardle
Audience and Sector Development Director: Damian Cunningham


Music Export Office: Sounds Australia
SOUNDS AUSTRALIA is Australia’s export music market development initiative, established to provide a cohesive and strategic platform to assist the Australian music industry access international business opportunities.
16 Mountain St, Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia
Locked Bag 5000, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
P:  +61 410 306 557
Executive Producer: Millie Millgate
Export Music Producer: Glenn Dickie


Consulate General of Canada, Sydney
Level 5, 111 Harrington Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
P: 61 (02) 9364 3000
Consul General: Mario Ste-Marie
Trade Commissioner, Arts and Cultural Industries: Sharon Pinney

Touring in Australia

Splendor in the Grass Festival

The first step to planning a tour in Australia is to organize an Australian entertainment visa sponsor. They will be needed to start the visa process:

  • The Entertainment Class 420 Visa is required for Canadian musicians and crew to perform paid, temporary engagements in Australia
  • Applications are submitted by a registered sponsor – typically your Australian agent, manger or promoter – along with a letter of support from the Musicians Union of Australia
  • Time: The average processing time for a complete application is 2 – 3 months (don’t even think of booking travel until you’ve secured these visas)
  • Upfront Costs: Musicians Union of Australia: $110.00 AUD, Entertainment VISA application: $570.00 AUD
  • Taxes: Canadian Artists will be subject up to a withholding tax on performance revenue

For more detailed information on Visa requirements, please download Australian Work Permits for Musicians Overview.

Once you’ve got that underway, you’ll have time to learn more about Australia. It’s a country, and a continent, and an island – divided into seven regions. For more information on each region, please see the Regions in Australia descriptions below.

Australia is home to an abundance of music festivals. Some festivals even travel to multiple major cities, making them ideal for touring performers. For more information please see the Australia’s Major Festivals tab below.

An in-depth analysis of the music business opportunities for touring performers in Australia and New Zealand was published in 2015 by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Music & the Arts and Canadian Music Week. The report is available here: The Music Market in Australia and New Zealand.

Rainbow Serpent Festival

The Music
Australia’s premier music, lifestyle, culture, film and TV destination. A multi-platform music, lifestyle and culture company dedicated to creating superior content for an audience of highly engaged Gen Ys.

Australian Music Scene
Dedicated to promoting what is fast becoming one of the biggest music scenes in the world.

Triple J
Triple j is a government-funded national Australian radio station targeted to listeners between the ages of 18 and 24. It places greater emphasis on Australian music and alternative music compared to commercial stations.

Double J
We’re bringing you a cohesive and diverse mix of the best new music from Australia and overseas, plus the songs and artists that triple j has championed over the past four decades.

Regions in Australia

New South Wales population 7,439,000

Capital City: Sydney

Key Venues: Allphones Arena (Sydney), Beach Hotel (Byron Bay), Big Top Luna Park (Sydney), Enmore Theatre (Sydney), Manning Bar (Sydney University), Metro Theatre (Sydney), Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Sydney Opera House, The Hi-Fi (Sydney)

Key Radio Stations: 104.1 2DayFM, KIIS 106.5, 2GB, Triple M Sydney, WS FM 101.7, Radio Austral

Colleges and Universities: University of Western Australia, Macquarie University, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney

Regional MIA: Music NSW

Northern Territory population 243,700

Capital city: Darwin

Key venues/clubs: Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin Railway Club, Darwin Ski Club, Discovery Darwin, Happy Yess/ Browns Mart

Key Radio Stations: 104.1 Territory FM, Radio Larrakia (8KNB), Triple J (94.9FM), ABC Classic FM (97.9FM), 783 ABC Alice Springs (783AM), ABC Radio National (99.7FM),

Colleges and Universities: Charles Darwin University, Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education

Regional MIA: MusicNT

Queensland population 4,691,000

Capital City: Brisbane

Key venues/clubs: lhambra Lounge (Brisbane), Black Bear Lodge (Brisbane), Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Elsewhere Bar (Gold Coast), Soundlounge (Gold Coast), The Coolangatta Hotel, The Rev (Brisbane), The Tivoli (Brisbane)

Key Radio Stations: 97.3FM, Nova 106.9, ABC 612, B105, Triple M

Colleges and Universities: University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University

Regional MIA: QMusic

South Australia population 1,682,600

Capital City: Adelaide

Key venues/clubs: Adelaide Entertainment Centre, HQ Adelaide, The Gov (Adelaide), UniBar Adelaide

Key radio: Cruise 1323, ABC Adelaide, FIVEaa, Mix 102.3, Nova 91.9, Three D Radio

Colleges and Universities: University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Flinders University

Regional MIA: Music SA

Tasmania population 514,700

Capital City: Hobart

Key Venues: Republic Bar & Café (Hobart), UniBar Hobart

Key Radio Stations: 7ABCFM ABC Radio National, 7ABCRN ABC Classic FM, 7ABCRR ABC Local Radio

Colleges and Universities: University of Tasmania

Regional MIA: Music Tasmania

Victoria population 5,821,300

Capital City: Melbourne

Key Venues: 170 Russell (Melbourne), Corner Hotel (Melbourne), Festival Hall (Melbourne), Forum Theatre (Melbourne), Hisense Arena (Melbourne), Margaret Court Arena, Palais Theatre (Melbourne), Prince Bandroom (Melbourne)

Key Radio Stations: Magic 1278, Fox 101.9, Joy 94.9, Gold 104.3, Nova 100.3, Triple M 105.1

Colleges and Universities: Deakin University, Monash University, RMIT University, Federation University, University of Melbourne, Victoria University

Regional MIA: Music Victoria

Western Australia population 2,565,600

Capital City: Perth

Key Venues: Amplifier Capitol (Perth), Perth Arena, Perth Concert Hall, Prince of Wales Hotel (Bunbury)

Key Radio Stations: 92.9 FM, 6PR AM, 96 FM, Nova 93.7 FM

Colleges and Universities: Deakin University, Monash University, RMIT University, Federation University, University of Melbourne, Victoria University

Regional MIA: West Australian Music

Australia's major festivals


For 3 days every September, a vibrant collection of musicians, buyers and experts from across the globe assemble in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley to explore the challenges of the ever-evolving music industry and experience the next wave of music from Australia and beyond.

By day, BIGSOUND’s conference program features internationally significant keynote speakers and challenging, cutting-edge workshop topics. At night, delegates mix with Brisbane’s music-loving public in a 14-venue experience of live music discovery.

Falls Festival

The reigning king of New Year’s Eve festivals, the Falls Festival has become a very important event on the Australian music calendar.

The event sees multiple sets of lineups perform simultaneously in Victoria and Tasmania – and now New South Wales. Tickets (especially for Lorne) are notoriously difficult to get your hands on — but it’s always well worth it.

Choosing between the two sites usually sees the masses gravitate to Lorne, but the Marion Bay campsite has absolutely stunning placement overlooking the water…perfect for summer.

Meridith Music Festival

The Meredith Music Festival is a three-day outdoor music festival held every December at the “Supernatural Amphitheatre”, a natural amphitheatre located on private farmland near the town of Meredith in Victoria, Australia.

Founded in 1991, sometimes it seems curated like an art exhibition – but it’s a credible music mecca. Famously articulating their three rules as, “No glass, no bean bags, no dickheads,” the festival is one of the oldest in the country. This is definitely one for the more discerning festival-goer.

Festival alumni include: Steve Miller Band, Ghostface Killah, The Lemonheads, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Melvins, Spiritualized, Tame Impala, The New Pornographers, Kid Koala, and Primal Scream.

Queens Cliff Music Festival

QMF came to life through a series of public forums held in 1996 that established community support for the dream… for Queenscliff to host a great music festival.

The “Last Weekend in November” was chosen with the purpose of converting a lull in the tourist season into a peak time for the local tourism industry. This vision is now a reality with QMF recognized as one of Tourism Victoria’s honoured Hall of Fame inductees as well as nominated as an official Regional Victorian Hallmark Event.

The event has also risen to national prominence, evidenced by the Australian Tourism title of “Most Significant Festival and Event”.


Stereosonic is an annual music festival held in November and early December in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne, Australia. Each event attracts tens of thousands of festival-goers.

The festival features electronic artists that have dominated music, radio and streaming charts across the globe. The line-up is curated to meet the tastes of various types of electronic music fans, with the introduction of arenas to create genre-specific environments.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is an annual, world-class jazz festival first held in 1998. The Festival takes place in concert halls, arts venues, jazz clubs and throughout the streets of Melbourne as the city comes alive with the spirit of jazz.

In addition to performances by headline Australian and international artists, the wide-ranging program also includes free concerts, family events, late night art parties, artist workshops, film screenings, in conversations, and club sessions.

Festival alumni include: James ‘Blood’ Ulmer, Chick Corea & Gary Burton, Niels-Henning Orsted-Pedersen, Herbie Hancock, Joshua Redman, Paul Grabowsky, John Abercrombie, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra Arkestra, Ron Carter, McCoy Tyner, and Simon Phillips.

Splendour in the Grass

Held annually since 2001, Splendour In the Grass is a music, arts and culture event featuring the latest and best in music from Australia and overseas, local arts and crafts, and cuisine.

After 12 years, the Indie rock, hip hop, electronic, alternative music festival finally has a brand new, permanent home at North Byron Parklands. The Parklands site offers a stunning, natural amphitheatre, surrounded by 660 acres of rolling green hills just 20 minutes north of Byron Bay.

Festival alumni include: Blur, Florence and the Machine, Mark Ronson, Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men, Passion Pit, Kanye West, Coldplay, Bloc Party, and The Smashing Pumpkins.

Rainbow Serpent Festival

The Rainbow Serpent Festival is a huge electronic music, art and lifestyle festival, located in Victoria, Australia. The festival is mainly known for Psychedelic trance and Minimal Techno music, but also features other genres of electronic music and non electronic music in the smaller stages.

The festival also has many art installations, workshops and other attractions. Recent years have seen the festival expand from a purely music-driven event, to one that places an emphasis on sustainability, well-being, performance and art.

The name Rainbow Serpent is distinctly Australian, coming from the Dreamtime creation story told by the traditional owners of the land. The Rainbow Serpent is protector of the land, and the source of all life.

Byron Bay Bluesfest

The Byron Bay Bluesfest (formerly the East Coast International Blues & Roots Music Festival) is an annual music festival held over the Easter long weekend at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, near Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

Bluesfest presents over 200 performances with up to 7 stages over 5, 12 hour days, as well as camping for up to 6,000 people, 5 licensed bars, over 100 food and market stalls, undercover food courts, beer gardens, and children’s entertainment.

Festival alumni include: Bob Dylan, B. B. King, Grace Jones, Ben Harper, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Leon Russell, George Clinton, Trombone Shorty, Jimmy Cliff, Robert Plant, The Cat Empire, City and Colour, Bob Dylan, Ben Harper, Earth Wind & Fire and Santana.

Beyond The Valley

With a lineup of indie-rock, electronica, hip-hop and indie-dance, this new festival offers the perfect Australian landscape for a premiere music and camping event. Award-winning food vendors bring choice and quality to rival any music festival in the world.

90 minutes east of Melbourne, festival site consists of spacious green fields surrounding a central lake, all encapsulated by hills rolling on into the distance.

Beyond The Valley’s widescreen sound is all about reflecting the ambient power of the festival’s beautiful environment.

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival is about leading new and revered seminal music. The festival has always been interested in finding what’s fresh and bringing it to unique settings and surrounds to be appreciated by music lovers.

What started as a series of weekly shows at a tiny Melbourne bar has bloomed into one of Australia’s most beloved festival institutions. Across a decade of expansion that has seen the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival become an international signifier of essential music, the event continues to showcase its original set of values: championing community, fostering collaboration, encouraging self-expression, and finding ongoing excuses to have fun.

And now – not just one, but eight festivals including Auckland, Singapore, and Detroit!

Festival alumni include: Beach House, Chvrches, Hudson Mohawk, St Vincent, Angel Olsen, Banks, Lorde, CHVRCHES, HAIM, Japandroids, Echo & the Bunnymen, Bat For Lashes, Blonde Redhead, Divine Fits and El-P.

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