An action plan to encourage more live music in Sydney has just been released - a “first” for NSW. It aims to create fresh opportunities for musicians and performers and overcome obstacles, addressing issues such as regulatory barriers, the availability of space to rehearse and perform, developing new audiences and providing opportunities for young people to enjoy and play live music.

The Live Music Matters action plan is the work of an 11-member Live Music and Performance Taskforce set up in December 2012 by the City of Sydney to revive Sydney’s live music and performance scene. It follows an exhaustive investigation into why live music and performance is under increasing pressure in Sydney Taskforce chair and Co-Director of the National Live Music Office, John Wardle, said the plan was the most thorough attempt yet made to resolve issues around live music..“A cultural planning policy that addresses both regulation and development of the live music and performance sector has never been undertaken on this level before”.

What if you were becoming obsolete – and weren’t aware of it? That was the question leading trend analyst Michael McQueen put to Chamber and local business representatives at the Lord Mayor Chamber Forum on November 7. 

Michael has spent the past decade tracking the dominant trends shaping society, business and culture, and has helped some of the world’s best-known brands navigate change and stay in front.

In early November Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore asked Council to introduce free 15 minute parking zones for main streets in the City of Sydney before Christmas, with a one –year trial of the scheme from early December

Although free 15 minute parking will cost the City up to one million dollars in lost revenue, the Lord Mayor said that she supported this measure designed to encourage trade for small businesses and shops in pre- Christmas .period. The opinions of 700 residents and 150 small businesses across the City had been sought earlier in the year and they were “overwhelmingly supportive.”

The October launch of the new Museums & Galleries of NSW website will help residents and tourists
to discover hundreds of museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres across NSW.
Visitors can create trip itineraries and share their experiences via social networks. Because the site uses geo-location technology on a mobile-friendly interface, visitors can always find a fascinating cultural experience nearby. 

(Corroboree Sydney photo by Tiffany Parker)

Corroboree Central at Pier 2/3, 15 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, is the home and heart of Corroboree Sydney, the new national festival that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture from 14 - 24 November. At Corroboree Central, you can tap into the pulse of Corroboree. The festival's signature events are based here: the Firelight and Firelight Ceremony on opening night; the Black Arts Market and the Corroboree Studio, on the first and last weekends; and Corroboree Club and the Corroboree Cinema that will come to life at night.

The NSW Planning Bill, regarded by some as the most significant reform of the planning system to occur in the past 30 years, failed to pass through parliament on November 28, after extensive amendments were demanded in the Upper House.
The focus on strategic planning, the elevation of economic outcomes in planning principles and the introduction of the “code assessable developments” concept were clear new policy directions in the proposed legislation.

Experience a curious night out in The Rocks!  Each laneway, nook and cranny will unveil a new performance, a new adventure. From kidnappings, treasure hunts and curious cabinets to contortionists and the speakeasy, your very own playground of markets and mystery is waiting for you.

After a year away from their traditional Christmas performances of Messiah, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs return to Handel’s masterpiece with a stellar line-up of soloists joining their Symphony Chorus and Massed Choirs.

But in 2013 there’s a difference: a revival of this great oratorio’s 18th century association with charitable support. The premiere of Messiah, in Dublin, was given in aid of several charities, and back in Handel’s adopted city, performances benefiting London’s Foundling Hospital for children became an annual institution. Similarly, the performances of Messiah in 2013 will be presented in association with The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Proceeds from the concerts will be shared with the hospital, and volunteers will be at all performances to collect donations.