24 Hour Cities: Victorian Night Time Economy Summit
4 min read

24 Hour Cities: Victorian Night Time Economy Summit

Culture Counts Client Manager, Monika Bognar recently attended the Victorian Night Time Economy Summit, presented by Creative Victoria, Music Victoria and Melbourne Music Week, gaining insights into the vibrant music economics across the world and learning about Melbourne’s evolution as a 24-hour city.  

The Victorian Night Time Economy Summit followed the release of Music Victoria’s White Paper and the announcement of Melbourne as the world’s live music capital. Melbourne’s annual attendance figures for live music (17.5 million) were higher than the AFL (4.66 million) and all major sports games combined (6.5 million).

Supporting evidence shows that the Australian night time economy is an expanding economic driver, with businesses employing three million people and generating almost $715 billion in turnover, which is an increase of 2.7% from 2016.

The summit presented some of the world’s leading proponents of night time economies, who discussed the best models and initiatives to support music and outcomes for Victoria. The talks focused specifically on how government, businesses and industry can work together to support thriving night time economies.

Patrick Donovan, CEO of Music Victoria opened the event and stated, “night time economies are best supported by governments working holistically across departments to promote activity while ensuring adequate infrastructure and progressive policy in areas including tourism, transport, public health and safety, planning and liquor licensing”.

Summit presenter, Amy Terrill, Executive Vice President of Music Canada, explained how music cities, with vibrant music economics, generate a range of benefits including economic growth, job creation and cultural development. Terrill has been instrumental in Music Canada’s efforts to promote live performance, music tourism and Toronto, Canada as a music city.

Confirming the social, cultural and economic outcomes of a vibrant city night life, Mirik Milan, Co-founder of The Night Mayor Foundation in Amsterdam, spoke about how a dynamic nightlife can help to build bridges between the local government, small business owners and residents. The Night Mayor Foundation aims to stimulate the night time economy by knowing what’s happening on the ground and putting this on the political agenda.  

As the first person in the world appointed to the role of a Night Mayor, Milan played an instrumental role in the reshaping of Amsterdam’s nightlife into one of the most vibrant and economically robust in the world. The innovative job title and position is fast becoming replicated in major nightlife-focused cities around the world, including New York, Paris and London.

The summit closed with a panel discussion about the practicalities of setting up structures that support night life in various municipalities throughout Melbourne. Key issues on the agenda were funding, safety and how to navigate problems associated with alcohol consumption.

The summit was an important reminder of the value of the music industry to our night time economy and cultural offering; something worth acknowledging and leveraging.

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