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The impact of live music

Words by Kavina.

Neil Young once said that “live music is better”, and it seems that one in three Australians agree it’s their number one passion. 

The impact that live music has on us as human beings is hard to put into words, but I guess, it lies in the way it makes us feel. It adds meaning and brings joy to our every-day lives. The feelings music arouse is the reason we seek it out and gather in droves wherever it is present, from watching a busker on the street corner to travelling hours into the Nevada Desert for a music festival.

We might look at it as entertainment, but advertisers and service providers have long used music to create an emotional connection between a product and the customer, which in turn drives profitability. The right use of music, especially when played live, can change how customers view the quality of your service. It influences the overall feeling and positive vibe people get from spending time in your venue and keeps them coming back for more. 


Let’s have a look at exactly how live music can impact customer behaviour in your venue and what this means for you. 

First, people want to listen to live music, but it is not on offer enough 

Consensus shows that Australians value live music, with over 60% attending at least one live music event a year. Sadly, they don’t get to see more because of the cost and the lack of proximity, showing a real need for more localised opportunities. 

Around 86% of consumers consider live music performances to be more significant than other events, even proving more popular than sport. According to this year’s Music Consumer Insights study, the city of Melbourne scored highest in Australia for its unparalleled support of local music gigs. With such demand and support for live music, the introduction or increase of it to your venue is a surefire way to impact customer attendance directly, because as we said earlier, where there is live music the people shall gather. Pair this with a primo promotion and a consistent gig calendar, and you're creating instant value enhancement to people’s lives and your venue. 

Live music brings joy to people, especially when experienced together 

Experiencing live music has been scientifically proven to make people happier and reduce anxiety and stress, especially when experienced in a community environment. Live music brings people together and promotes a sense of belonging and encourages them to socialise by venturing out and participating. Because of the infectious mood and raised spirits (not just alcohol), music gives us memories that last a lifetime. Being the kind of venue that is associated with creating moments of joy and community, as well as a source of entertainment, is what draws in customers and keeps them coming back for more.

It’s a psychological thing 

Customer service providers have long used behavioural models such as Bitner’s Servicescape when it comes to designing retail facilities and venues, to create the best atmosphere to enhance the customer experience. Besides accounting for things like room temperature, mood lighting and other physical elements, it is the relationship between music and its impact on its customers’ mood and behaviour that was the most significant. Also, different aspects of music can directly affect how they feel about your service. 

Venues can use music to create the best atmosphere for customer enjoyment. 

That’s because:

Specific elements of music heighten emotions which impact behavioural patterns 


When used correctly, music can promote behaviours that best suit atmosphere, venue brand and customer service style. From the length of time a customer spends enjoying their meal to the way it enhances their mood from relaxed to excited and in turn, music contributes to their spending habits. The smartly termed Musicscape within the Servicescape model measures how elements like tempo, volume and music genres affect human emotions and create behavioural patterns, which are apparent in the way customers act in your venue. Meaning, music can help to promote positive feelings like patience and distraction, relaxation, excitement, or create energised and uplifting emotions, which in turn, impact how your customers behave. 

Music is great for venues because it means that in high turnover or busy environment, it can help to ease customer flow and create patience. They may even forget the amount of time that’s passed if the kitchen is busy. If service is slow, you can use music to amp up the vibe creating energy, which is, in turn, infectious and brings in more people or encourages them to stay longer. 

Here’s a breakdown of the impact created by elements within Musicscape:

  1. Tempo and energy

The rhythm of music can have a direct effect on a customer’s vitality and their spending nature in your venue. Energetic and fast music creates excitement and an uplifting atmosphere, which increases restaurant turnover, spending and drinking. Creating an energising atmosphere perks people up and makes them spend more time at your venue.

2. Volume

The volume of music complements the tempo, the louder, the better for a younger demographic, but preferably quieter and softer for a more mature crowd. Loud music volume creates excitement and a positive vibe, which means less talking and diverts focus away from the decor and more on alcohol, a dance atmosphere or the band playing. Though while louder is generally better, many studies have found regular live music attendees to be dissatisfied by too-high volumes, as it detracts from the venue attendance and experience, so it’s essential to get the balance right. 

3. Genre

The genre sets the tone and adds to what your venue has to offer. It has the most significant impact on the type of audience you attract and what they get out of the experience. Therefore, picking the top 40 hits could be more of a distraction than an attraction in a luxury space. Classical music may make you seem stiff and boring. Relaxing music such as soft acoustic or traditional jazz compliments fine dining and lounges and focuses attention on the restaurant cuisine and service quality. Electronic and ambient genres are background music; they are upmarket and draw in a business crowd, whereas younger laidback demographics prefer indie and rock music.  

Musicscape impacts an overall customer perception of service times

Customer perception of time and how fast it flows proves the power that live music has over making your venue a destination instead of a stop-off point. It can provide a distraction from perceived wait times when it comes to food or a table during a busy service or ordering a drink at the bar. Music can create flow and ease in the way service is delivered, and smooth the interaction with staff members, who are also more relaxed and productive. 

By understanding how you can use behavioural effects to get the best out of your live music space, you can create an immeasurable impression of lasting memories and joy amongst your attendees. It can mean the difference between watching a great live act with your mates and forgetting all about the 15 minutes you spent waiting on a beer; how fantastic the vibe and service were because the music reinvigorated you after a draining day at the office. Live music makes everything better. Including life! 

If you’re ready to follow those wise words from Neil Young and choose some awesome live music artists, Muso can help you connect. We specialise in introducing more live music to the world by taking care of the whole booking process, from discovery, booking and scheduling, to invoicing and payment. If you’re not sure where to start, or you want to chat to one of Muso’s team on how to create the perfect live music experience for your venue, you can book a call here.

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