SA live music lucrative, but has a long way to go

2011-08-22 12:17

South African live music shows are becoming more than places where fans get together to watch their favourite bands perform, but the local music industry still has a long way to go before revenue from live music overtakes that from record sales.

Research shows live music is important in its own right as an income generator.

“The business of live music is a catalyst for many other businesses such as shops, restaurants, clubs and bars,” Creativity AvrilJoffe director Avril Joffe said at a Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Breakfast colloquium in Joburg.

The research, titled South African Mapping of Live Music, conducted last year and published in late December by Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition, identified 43 festivals and 62 venues as permanent features of the live music circuit in South Africa.

Findings showed that the strongest activity of live music was found in Gauteng and Western Cape with little activity taking place in the other provinces.

“The South African music industry has a long way to go in terms of reaching the stage where live music will overtake those from record sales,” said Joffe, referring to an example which showed that revenue generated from live music in the UK – R16 billion – exceeded those from their record sales.

“This is largely because the South African (live) music industry is still very much haphazard, irregular and seasonal,” said Joffe, citing issues of contracts, regulation, exploitation and lack of promotion as some of the major factors that hamper the business.

To address these challenges, Joffe said factors such as space, audience, backstage production and management needed to be given more attention.

“These factors also need to be taken into consideration with the artist or musician as they are the key players in all of this,” she said.

» City Press is a media partner of Joy of Jazz. 

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