Levy could help music venues

A levy on touring acts may be just the ticket for Dunedin’s struggling live music scene.

The Dunedin City Council voted to investigate how adding a small charge to tickets for visiting groups could help fund a war chest to bolster the city’s live music venues for local acts.

Mayor Aaron Hawkins introduced the concept to yesterday’s annual plan meeting and said it had been successfully used in other places.

"Effectively, you’re talking about adding a dollar or two potentially to the ticket price of stadium shows and using that money to support local music venues."

The local live music industry had been particularly heavily affected upon by Covid-19 protections and the council had an opportunity and an obligation to help it rebuild.

He did not believe the small increase to ticket prices would act as a deterrent to sales.

"I am the kind of person who spends stupid amounts of money to see bands play in their dotage ...

"When I was coughing up 100 bucks to see The Pixies play on their reunion tour, an extra dollar or two was hardly going to make a difference to that purchasing decision."

The mayor’s motion asked Dunedin City Holdings Ltd to work with Dunedin Venues Management Ltd to create a report on options for introducing the levy.

The report is to be created in time for the council’s annual plan deliberations in May.

Cr Lee Vandervis was the sole vote against commissioning a report on the concept.

He said promoters would be against any increases in ticket costs, and costs would also accrue for the administration of the scheme.

He also said he was uncomfortable voting for the move without more information about the amount to be added per ticket, administration costs for the levy and who would receive the funds.

However, the lack of details was not an issue for Cr Jim O’Malley, who gave the most concise speech of the day.

"I think that’s the purpose of requesting the report."

-- andrew.marshall@odt.co.nz


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