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Increased access to low cost or free rehearsal spaces for Sydney musicians

by LALYNE HAISI PICKIE

 

Sydney is losing artists and musicians to other cities, partly due to the rising cost-0f-living, housing difficulties, and low weekly earnings. The City of Sydney has also identified a lack of access to cheap or free rehearsal space as a key barrier for maintaining and growing a creative city.

At the most recent council meeting, Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore put forward a motion on behalf of community members to provide access to low cost or free rehearsal spaces for musicians and creatives.

“I’ve had a lot of residents approach me about this issue, they’re just looking for somewhere to practise but currently struggle to get low cost or free access to spaces,” said Cr Ellsmore.

“For new and struggling artists, even paying a small fee for a rehearsal space multiple times a week can be unaffordable”.

A small cost for the council would mean a huge impact for the creative community, she continued, adding that as Sydney continues to grow, “it is essential to make sure that we provide space for people’s artistic endeavours.”

Council members supported the motion unanimously.

Previously, musicians were not generally eligible for the 100 per cent fee waiver for hire of community spaces, unless they fit the definition of a local community group.

Examples of low or free hire of council spaces available for music rehearsal include:

  • Free music rehearsal space for students and school groups in 17 Council community venues
  • Community and student rates of hire at the rehearsal and recording space in Green Square Library music room
  • Individual and group rates of hire for recording, rehearsal and practice rooms at the City of Sydney Creative Studios in Bathurst Street.

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