Live Toolkit

Practical resources to program and promote live performance in Sydney and beyond

Guides, insight and ideas for new and experienced venues, promoters, bookers, event curators, musicians and other performers
Gathered from experienced venue operators, promoters and organisations that contribute to Sydney's live scene
Join the dots on...

Audience Development

Tools for venues, bookers and performers to increase reach and attendance

Templates and venue models

Discover performance booking, marketing and revenue models to suit your bar, pub, club or hotel

Marketing Plans

So all parties can stay on top of event promotions and social media campaigns

Admin and Finance

To make life easier for venues, payers and performers

Sound, staging and tech

Simple, affordable ways for events and venues to look and sound great

Beyond music

The toolkit is transferable to  comedians and other non-music performers and venues seeking to program more than live music

Existing resources and support

From industry, government and great sites you may not have the time to find

Browse by categories below

Created with assistance from the City of Sydney

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Please note that changes to the scope of the project
can be made at any time, but additional charges may apply.

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live toolkit

Why practicing changeovers is crucial

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How practicing changeover can benefit your band.
  • Tips for rehearsing your changeover.
  • Step by step guide for refining your band’s changeover.
...more

Getting paid for events: ABN’s and invoicing

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to collect payments and split them between other performers.
  • Why you should invoice correctly.
  • What GST is and how to charge it.
  • Why keeping track of your payments is essential.

...more

Using instagram to promote your venue and events

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Why Instagram is a powerful tool to promote your events.
  • Basic setup.
  • How to improve the visibility of your posts.
  • Tips that experienced users may have missed.
...more

Putting together a live music press kit

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • What to include in a live music press kit.
  • How to present a live music press kit to a venue.
  • How to make your live music press kit stand out.
...more

Using a performance agreement to book acts, and why it’s good for everyone.

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How an agreement saves all parties time, money and hassles.
  • What does an agreement include.
  • Get a free booking template to suit your needs.
  • The one thing that’s often missing but VITAL to have.
  • Timeline for managing agreements.
...more

What is a worksheet and how do I put one together?

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How worksheets iron out event logistics.
  • How to use it in conjunction with your performance agreement.
  • Why keeping it up to date is crucial.
  • A free worksheet template builder.
...more

Pitching to perform at a venue

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to prepare and approach venues for gigs (includes checklist).
  • The right (and wrong) ways to ask for a gig.
...more

To do list when you're booked to perform

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • What's next after successfully booking a gig.
  • A workable timeline for what to do prior to the gig.
  • The importance of gig etiquette.
...more

Paying performers - different models for venues and artists

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Types of artist payments.
  • Award rates for musicians.
  • Laws and awards covering musician payments.
...more

Using 'Facebook Events' effectively

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • 'Facebook Events' vs posting on your venue's page
  • How to create one-off and recurring Facebook events.
  • Features that experienced users may have missed.
  • Making the most of mentions, videos and Facebook Live.
  • Why it’s important to also post Facebook event info to your Facebook Business Page.
  • Ways to promote within the Facebook event page.
  • Ways to promote outside of the Facebook event page.
...more

Effective promotion through social media

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to increase your marketing reach on social media.
  • The differences between tagging and hashtags.
  • Tips for sharing content.
  • Tips to get more followers to your social media profiles.
...more

Looking great online - an image guide for web and social media

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to preserve the quality and visual impact of your photos and images.
  • Why ratios, pixels and size matters.
  • Recommended image settings for websites.
  • Recommended image settings for social media.
  • Free tools to quickly convert images.
...more

Making your photos and images look good in print ads, posters and magazines

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Recommended specifications for exporting images for advertisements.
  • What to send to publications when taking out Ad space.
  • The best file format for exporting posters ready for printing.
...more

Working with a graphic designer 101

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • What you need on a design brief to save money and hassles.
  • Why it’s crucial to agree on an assets list.
  • How to provide feedback and request changes.
  • Finishing tips and how the money works.
...more

How to be a performer that venues will want back

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Building a productive rapport with sound engineer, venue staff and other performers.
  • Creating a tech rider to reduce equipment issues.
  • Load in and load out etiquette.
  • Getting a great soundcheck or line check.
  • Soundcheck do’s and don’ts.
...more

Microphones and miking instruments

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing


  • Common types of microphones found in a live music set up.
  • Suggestions on microphone and instrument pairing.
  • The most versatile microphone you can own for live.

...more

OH&S basics for live events

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Where to find up-to-date OHS policies regarding performance.
  • Basic summary of prominent OHS actions to take.
...more

Principles of graphic design

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Follow up to our 101 guide on working with graphic designers.
  • Dig deep on design principles to get a better understanding of how to develop your brand identity and designs.
...more

Noise control, venue insulation and funding to help

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Grant and funding opportunities to assist with noise insulation.
  • Insulating your venue to reduce sound spill.
  • How to make music ‘feel’ loud, without exceeding noise limits or health and safety.
  • Making the most of your PA, and amp placement and monitors.
...more

Making live events look great when you don’t have a stage

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Do’s and don’ts for putting on live events with a temporary stage or performance area.
  • How to create atmosphere in cramped / small spaces.
  • How to create atmosphere in large spaces (they’re different).
...more

Using instagram to promote your venue and events

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Why Instagram is a powerful tool to promote your events.
  • Basic setup.
  • How to improve the visibility of your posts.
  • Tips that experienced users may have missed.
...more

Crowd control and patron safety during live events

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Procedures and skills for effective crowd control.
  • Strategies to ensure patron safety during live music events.
  • Key organisations that can provide help and advice in this area.
  • Why it’s important to get performers involved in your strategies.
...more

Using a performance agreement to book acts, and why it’s good for everyone.

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How an agreement saves all parties time, money and hassles.
  • What does an agreement include.
  • Get a free booking template to suit your needs.
  • The one thing that’s often missing but VITAL to have.
  • Timeline for managing agreements.
...more

What is a worksheet and how do I put one together?

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How worksheets iron out event logistics.
  • How to use it in conjunction with your performance agreement.
  • Why keeping it up to date is crucial.
  • A free worksheet template builder.
...more

Paying performers - different models for venues and artists

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Types of artist payments.
  • Award rates for musicians.
  • Laws and awards covering musician payments.
...more

Using 'Facebook Events' effectively

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • 'Facebook Events' vs posting on your venue's page
  • How to create one-off and recurring Facebook events.
  • Features that experienced users may have missed.
  • Making the most of mentions, videos and Facebook Live.
  • Why it’s important to also post Facebook event info to your Facebook Business Page.
  • Ways to promote within the Facebook event page.
  • Ways to promote outside of the Facebook event page.
...more

Effective promotion through social media

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to increase your marketing reach on social media.
  • The differences between tagging and hashtags.
  • Tips for sharing content.
  • Tips to get more followers to your social media profiles.
...more

Looking great online - an image guide for web and social media

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to preserve the quality and visual impact of your photos and images.
  • Why ratios, pixels and size matters.
  • Recommended image settings for websites.
  • Recommended image settings for social media.
  • Free tools to quickly convert images.
...more

Making your photos and images look good in print ads, posters and magazines

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Recommended specifications for exporting images for advertisements.
  • What to send to publications when taking out Ad space.
  • The best file format for exporting posters ready for printing.
...more

Working with a graphic designer 101

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • What you need on a design brief to save money and hassles.
  • Why it’s crucial to agree on an assets list.
  • How to provide feedback and request changes.
  • Finishing tips and how the money works.
...more

Equipment basics for small to medium venues

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • What audio gear you need to put on live music at your venue.
  • How to identify and match audio equipment to performance types and venue needs.
...more

Microphones and miking instruments

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing


  • Common types of microphones found in a live music set up.
  • Suggestions on microphone and instrument pairing.
  • The most versatile microphone you can own for live.

...more

Affordable, basic, live lighting for small venues

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Why it’s a bad idea to rely on venue ‘house’ lighting.
  • The best low-cost setup.
  • Lighting live performance when you don’t have a permanent stage.
  • Basic light colour combinations to match event mood.
  • Lighting health and safety.
...more

Advanced stage lighting

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Lighting types.
  • Tips on matching your lighting rig to suit your stage.
  • What a DMX controller is and how to use one.
  • Advanced tips on lighting scenes.
  • Lighting tips during live performance.
...more

OH&S basics for live events

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Where to find up-to-date OHS policies regarding performance.
  • Basic summary of prominent OHS actions to take.
...more

Agent of change - A Melbourne case study

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How agent of change could protect your venue’s rights.
  • How did it come about?
  • What can venues learn from this example.
...more

Event ticketing for venues

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • The pros and cons of of ticketing your event.
  • Different ticketing providers for venues.
...more

Great reasons to program live music at your venue

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How live music can contribute to your venue’s income and reputation.
  • How catering for diverse music genres can build your business.
  • Genres to suit your venue size, style and patronage.
  • Pairing live music with your venue’s other offerings.
  • It's value to the economy and community.
...more

The basics of booking acts and programming events

Programming
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Overview of putting on live music
  • Who puts on live music
  • In-house booker's tasks
  • Gig night tips
  • After the gig

...more

Principles of graphic design

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Follow up to our 101 guide on working with graphic designers.
  • Dig deep on design principles to get a better understanding of how to develop your brand identity and designs.
...more

A practical guide to measuring sound levels.

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to measure outside noise to know your rights.
  • Measure and set internal sound for patron safety.
  • Why background noise is important.
  • How to avoid being a residential sound scapegoat.
...more

Noise control, venue insulation and funding to help

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Grant and funding opportunities to assist with noise insulation.
  • Insulating your venue to reduce sound spill.
  • How to make music ‘feel’ loud, without exceeding noise limits or health and safety.
  • Making the most of your PA, and amp placement and monitors.
...more

Cultural Diversity within live music

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How making your venue more inclusive can increase your patronage and grow your reputation.
  • Practical ways to make your venue more culturally inclusive.
...more

Creating safe space & no tolerance policies for your live music venue

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Benefits of a safe space policy to your venue.
  • Organisations that can help a venue create an effective policy.
  • Suggestions on what to include in a safe space policy.
...more

Inclusion of people living with disability in live music

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Easy solutions and cost-effective ways to make your venue more accessible.
  • Organisations that can assist with grants to help upgrade your venue with disability-friendly additions.
  • Training available for staff to welcome patrons living with disability appropriately.
...more

Respecting Indigenous communities and customs within your venue

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • The benefits of reaching out to your local Indigenous community.
  • Protocols and customs when playing and promoting music by Indigenous artists.
  • Suggestions to adopt within your venue policies.
...more

Gender & LGBTQIA+ inclusivity in live music venues

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • The benefits of re-assessing your venue as a safe space for all.
  • Tips to make your venue a safe space for all genders and also members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
...more

Why practicing changeovers is crucial

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How practicing changeover can benefit your band.
  • Tips for rehearsing your changeover.
  • Step by step guide for refining your band’s changeover.
...more

Making live events look great when you don’t have a stage

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Do’s and don’ts for putting on live events with a temporary stage or performance area.
  • How to create atmosphere in cramped / small spaces.
  • How to create atmosphere in large spaces (they’re different).
...more

Getting paid for events: ABN’s and invoicing

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to collect payments and split them between other performers.
  • Why you should invoice correctly.
  • What GST is and how to charge it.
  • Why keeping track of your payments is essential.

...more

Using instagram to promote your venue and events

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Why Instagram is a powerful tool to promote your events.
  • Basic setup.
  • How to improve the visibility of your posts.
  • Tips that experienced users may have missed.
...more

Putting together a live music press kit

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • What to include in a live music press kit.
  • How to present a live music press kit to a venue.
  • How to make your live music press kit stand out.
...more

Crowd control and patron safety during live events

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Procedures and skills for effective crowd control.
  • Strategies to ensure patron safety during live music events.
  • Key organisations that can provide help and advice in this area.
  • Why it’s important to get performers involved in your strategies.
...more

Using a performance agreement to book acts, and why it’s good for everyone.

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How an agreement saves all parties time, money and hassles.
  • What does an agreement include.
  • Get a free booking template to suit your needs.
  • The one thing that’s often missing but VITAL to have.
  • Timeline for managing agreements.
...more

What is a worksheet and how do I put one together?

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How worksheets iron out event logistics.
  • How to use it in conjunction with your performance agreement.
  • Why keeping it up to date is crucial.
  • A free worksheet template builder.
...more

Pitching to perform at a venue

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to prepare and approach venues for gigs (includes checklist).
  • The right (and wrong) ways to ask for a gig.
...more

To do list when you're booked to perform

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • What's next after successfully booking a gig.
  • A workable timeline for what to do prior to the gig.
  • The importance of gig etiquette.
...more

Paying performers - different models for venues and artists

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Types of artist payments.
  • Award rates for musicians.
  • Laws and awards covering musician payments.
...more

Using 'Facebook Events' effectively

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • 'Facebook Events' vs posting on your venue's page
  • How to create one-off and recurring Facebook events.
  • Features that experienced users may have missed.
  • Making the most of mentions, videos and Facebook Live.
  • Why it’s important to also post Facebook event info to your Facebook Business Page.
  • Ways to promote within the Facebook event page.
  • Ways to promote outside of the Facebook event page.
...more

Effective promotion through social media

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to increase your marketing reach on social media.
  • The differences between tagging and hashtags.
  • Tips for sharing content.
  • Tips to get more followers to your social media profiles.
...more

Looking great online - an image guide for web and social media

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to preserve the quality and visual impact of your photos and images.
  • Why ratios, pixels and size matters.
  • Recommended image settings for websites.
  • Recommended image settings for social media.
  • Free tools to quickly convert images.
...more

Making your photos and images look good in print ads, posters and magazines

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Recommended specifications for exporting images for advertisements.
  • What to send to publications when taking out Ad space.
  • The best file format for exporting posters ready for printing.
...more

Working with a graphic designer 101

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • What you need on a design brief to save money and hassles.
  • Why it’s crucial to agree on an assets list.
  • How to provide feedback and request changes.
  • Finishing tips and how the money works.
...more

How to be a performer that venues will want back

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Building a productive rapport with sound engineer, venue staff and other performers.
  • Creating a tech rider to reduce equipment issues.
  • Load in and load out etiquette.
  • Getting a great soundcheck or line check.
  • Soundcheck do’s and don’ts.
...more

Equipment basics for small to medium venues

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • What audio gear you need to put on live music at your venue.
  • How to identify and match audio equipment to performance types and venue needs.
...more

Microphones and miking instruments

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing


  • Common types of microphones found in a live music set up.
  • Suggestions on microphone and instrument pairing.
  • The most versatile microphone you can own for live.

...more

Affordable, basic, live lighting for small venues

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Why it’s a bad idea to rely on venue ‘house’ lighting.
  • The best low-cost setup.
  • Lighting live performance when you don’t have a permanent stage.
  • Basic light colour combinations to match event mood.
  • Lighting health and safety.
...more

Advanced stage lighting

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Lighting types.
  • Tips on matching your lighting rig to suit your stage.
  • What a DMX controller is and how to use one.
  • Advanced tips on lighting scenes.
  • Lighting tips during live performance.
...more

OH&S basics for live events

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Where to find up-to-date OHS policies regarding performance.
  • Basic summary of prominent OHS actions to take.
...more

Agent of change - A Melbourne case study

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How agent of change could protect your venue’s rights.
  • How did it come about?
  • What can venues learn from this example.
...more

Event ticketing for venues

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • The pros and cons of of ticketing your event.
  • Different ticketing providers for venues.
...more

Great reasons to program live music at your venue

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How live music can contribute to your venue’s income and reputation.
  • How catering for diverse music genres can build your business.
  • Genres to suit your venue size, style and patronage.
  • Pairing live music with your venue’s other offerings.
  • It's value to the economy and community.
...more

The basics of booking acts and programming events

Programming
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Overview of putting on live music
  • Who puts on live music
  • In-house booker's tasks
  • Gig night tips
  • After the gig

...more

Principles of graphic design

Marketing
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Follow up to our 101 guide on working with graphic designers.
  • Dig deep on design principles to get a better understanding of how to develop your brand identity and designs.
...more

A practical guide to measuring sound levels.

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How to measure outside noise to know your rights.
  • Measure and set internal sound for patron safety.
  • Why background noise is important.
  • How to avoid being a residential sound scapegoat.
...more

Noise control, venue insulation and funding to help

Tech/Staging
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Grant and funding opportunities to assist with noise insulation.
  • Insulating your venue to reduce sound spill.
  • How to make music ‘feel’ loud, without exceeding noise limits or health and safety.
  • Making the most of your PA, and amp placement and monitors.
...more

Cultural Diversity within live music

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • How making your venue more inclusive can increase your patronage and grow your reputation.
  • Practical ways to make your venue more culturally inclusive.
...more

Creating safe space & no tolerance policies for your live music venue

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Benefits of a safe space policy to your venue.
  • Organisations that can help a venue create an effective policy.
  • Suggestions on what to include in a safe space policy.
...more

Inclusion of people living with disability in live music

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • Easy solutions and cost-effective ways to make your venue more accessible.
  • Organisations that can assist with grants to help upgrade your venue with disability-friendly additions.
  • Training available for staff to welcome patrons living with disability appropriately.
...more

Respecting Indigenous communities and customs within your venue

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • The benefits of reaching out to your local Indigenous community.
  • Protocols and customs when playing and promoting music by Indigenous artists.
  • Suggestions to adopt within your venue policies.
...more

Gender & LGBTQIA+ inclusivity in live music venues

Admin
,  
Admin,  
programming,  
tech/staging,
Marketing
  • The benefits of re-assessing your venue as a safe space for all.
  • Tips to make your venue a safe space for all genders and also members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
...more