The Austin Music Census could help support local artists: Here’s how

Data on Austin’s music scene is currently being collected for the first time in almost a decade, as part of an effort to better understand the industry’s needs and allocate funding + support.

The 2022 Greater Austin Music Census, a five-county-wide survey, is currently underway for the first time since 2015

What’s on the quiz? The census collects demographic data such as income, housing, and positions.

However, it also takes the pulse of ATX’s music industry culturally and socially, with questions related to lived experiences, wants and needs of participants, and the future of Austin’s music scene. (Example: Do you think there is a common goal that can be shared amongst all Austin music people for the future of our music ecosystem?)

Why is this necessary, you ask? For one, local musicians are experiencing a period of turbulence.

In recent years, pandemic-era cancellations and reduced crowd sizes took a hefty cut from venues’ and artists’ income. Some establishments, such as Cactus Cafe and Barracuda, shut down entirely.

On top of that, Austin is getting more expensive, meaning ticket prices + gig pay that used to float local artists isn’t exactly making the cut anymore.

More knowledge of how local music industry professionals are being impacted may help inform efforts for supporting them. The last music census, for example, was used as a reference for developing city programs + nonprofit proposals.

Some fast facts from that census include:

  • Average Austin musician income is significantly less than that of the average Austin resident
  • 60% of responders were working multiple jobs
  • 81% said stagnating pay made it difficult for them to make a viable income

Got your own two cents to share? To participate in this year’s music census, you need to be 18, working as a musician, or participating in the music industry in some way, including as a service worker.

The current deadline is Mon., Aug. 15, although that may be extended. Fill out the census form here.

More from ATXtoday