Offline and online: liveness in the Australian music industries

Sarah Keith, Diane Hughes, Denis Crowdy, Guy Morrow, Mark Evans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This article explores the concept of musical liveness, and seeks to clarify how digital technologies are changing conceptions of live performance. It draws on research into contemporary music industries in Australia. Discussions of live music performance, and liveness, are often equated to the real-time performance of music by a musician in front of an audience. However, such performance opportunities are diminishing (Johnson and Homan, 2003) due to a number of factors, including changes to venue and live music legislation. In response to this decline, a number of action groups such as SLAM (Save Live Australian Music) have formed in opposition to such policies and are reviving live music communities in certain areas. In the absence of consistent performance options, online and DIY approaches have allowed artists to connect with audiences, engage in one-on-one interactions with fans, and showcase their performance abilities outside of traditional performance contexts. Strategic uses of social media allow artists to attract audiences to non-conventional spaces (such as busking performances or house parties); while online videos, whether they are created by artists themselves, impromptu or candid videos, or unauthorised videos created by fans, allow online audiences to participate in the live music experience and to connect with the artist. Research findings indicate that digital technologies are crucial in both promoting and sustaining a live presence for musicians. Musical liveness is no longer confined to offline physical performances; online technologies develop the concept of a technologically mediated 'liveness'.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe State of the music industry
EditorsVictor Sarafian, Rosie Findlay
Place of PublicationToulouse, France
PublisherPresses de l'Université des sciences sociales de Toulouse
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9782361700874
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

PublisherPresses de l'Université des sciences sociales de Toulouse


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