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Music in South Australia

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South Australia is in the enviable position of having a dedicated Music Development Office (MDO) embedded within the State Government.

Established in 2014, the MDO’s focus is to develop policy to support, build and grow the local music industry.

As an initiative of the South Australian Government’s Department for Industry, Innovation and Science, the MDO facilitates the development of the South Australia’s music industry by having an ecosystem view, focusing on industry development to support both music creators and music businesses.

The 2021-22 MDO Strategic Plan: Supporting Recovery focuses on supporting the re-shape, recovery, rebuild and re-strengthening of a resilient, confident and future-ready music industry.

MUSIC Motez launching his album Soulitude on the Fleurieu Peninsula Pic credit Support Act

Motez launching Soulitude. Photo credit Support Act.

Live Music's Economic Impact

South Australia

The South Australian music sector’s economic contribution increased by a reported $8 million between 2014-2018 according to a report by Delloite Access Economics.

In 2018-19, South Australian businesses in the music and performing arts sector directly contributed $183.4 million in Gross Value Add (GVA) to the local economy and was the highest employing sector within the creative industries, providing some 4,559.


Australia’s live and recorded music market generated $1.9 billion in 2019. In 2020 the industry suffered a decline of 39% as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.

According to a recent study from APRA AMCOS the Australian live music and entertainment industry is worth $16 billon to the national economy. Operating nationally and internationally it includes large and small businesses, sole traders and employs 90,000+ FTE workers.

The Economic and Cultural Value of Live Music in Australia report from the University of Tasmania in 2014 shows that for every $1 spent through live music, $3 is returned through indirect activity.

The sector is supported by the Music Development Office (MDO), a dedicated government office committed to supporting the growth of the contemporary music sector in South Australia. The MDO does this through funding programs, strategic initiatives and key industry partnerships within the local and national music industry.

The live performance aspect of the music industry has been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. This disruption has caused industry to continue to transform and digitise to adapt, with new models of monetisation. This is changing global consumption patterns and providing opportunities for South Australian artists to commercialise product and build global audiences.

The industry is represented through peak body Music SA, a not-for-profit organisation committed to representing the voices of the contemporary music sector in South Australia.

Event Grants

South Australia is fast becoming a creative hotspot for music industry entrepreneurs to create and thrive.

Adelaide was recognised internationally as a UNESCO City of Music in 2015, a designation which places the city into a network of creative cities around the world. This is an acknowledgment of the breadth, depth and vibrancy of the city’s music culture, its international reach, its history and its aspirations.

Adelaide supports a diverse range of independent musicians, a developing and entrepreneurial music industry, a series of world-class music and arts festivals, the world-renowned Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and leading music education and performance institutions.