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The Imperial in Erskineville (Photo credit: Dani Hansen).


Cultural Diversity within live music

You'll Discover:

  • How making your venue more inclusive can increase your patronage and grow your reputation.
  • Practical ways to make your venue more culturally inclusive.

In the 2016 Census, statistics show that “nearly half (49%) of Australians had either been born overseas (first generation Australian) or one or both parents had been born overseas (second generation Australian).” It also calculated that “Sydney had the largest overseas-born population."

That’s a lot of culturally diverse people who could be enjoying your venue, and provides an opportunity for you to assess positive things you’re currently doing, and identify adjustments to make your venue even more welcoming, accessible and inclusive.

We've rounded up some suggestions below.


Create a diversity policy

Many sources suggest to not only create a policy but also a method to measure the diversity and inclusion within your events. Australia Council for the Arts has a useful resource on engaging diverse communities in your event, while Diversity Council Australia provides some guides and resources for creating a diverse workplace.

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Diversity in staff

Actively seeking out staff from various cultural backgrounds can “help us to value new perspectives; to celebrate our differences and share what we have in common," according to Settlement Services International CEO Violet Roumeliotis.

SSI also recommends the Friendly Nation Initiative: “a strategy that galvanises Australian businesses to provide employment, mentoring, internship and work experience opportunities to refugees.”

Multicultural NSW also hold a Cultural Competence Program - which can provide remote training for businesses and their employees.

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Promote your event through various avenues

Diversity Charter recommends making the effort to reach outside of your network to find new/diverse audience members.

Their conclusion is that “having a more diverse audience will encourage diversity.”

Try looking at different media outlets within your area (e.g. diverse publications, community radio stations, community notice boards and groups etc).

community notice board
Image of a community noticeboard.
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Connect with diverse communities

Sydney is home to both established and new communities from different cultural backgrounds. For example, 35,000 international students are currently studying in the City's local area. That's a large untapped audience of young, engaged and curious people who could be future patrons at your venue!

The options for drawing in this new audience are really varied. For example, food and drink specials, culturally diverse live music or dj nights and other events which support diverse communities.

Your venue could also work longer term to develop and maintain new connections with diverse communities, especially those who are concentrated around your venue. For example, getting a culturally diverse venue booker to book live music one night a week or supporting the local asylum seeker community through your regular fundraising events (if you have them). Check out detailed information and demographics on diversity, specific to your City of Sydney suburb through the Community Atlas. Check out ABS data on City of Sydney suburbs here.

Further suggestions can be found through the Australia Council for the Arts’ ‘Engaged Communities’ Resource.

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Further information

There are a number of organisations that you can contact:

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