Australia's live music sector is to be bolstered with the launch of a national Web resource.

Australia's live music sector is to be bolstered with the launch of a national Web resource.

The Vroom service, which went live May 25 at www.vroom.musicnsw.com, allows musicians to search for venues via area, genre and size. Users can download and print venues booking contracts, production and facility information, and ask questions through the site's resource center.

Venues are allocated their own free Web page offering technical specifications, contacts and update information.

"For musicians, finding out these details is time consuming and expensive," says Sydney-based singer songwriter Tracy Redhead, who came up with the concept three years ago.

"But the long view is for Vroom to invigorate the national live touring scene by bringing a closer network between touring bands, booking agents, tour promoters and live music venue operators."

Vroom's principal sponsor is the Australasian Performing Right Assn. and its sister association Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society.

Brett Cottle, the organizations' CEO, told attendees at a launch function on May 25, "VROOM will bring musicians and venues together in a way, that we hope, will result in increased opportunities for our members to perform and better business for our licensees."

Initially, the site will cover the state of New South Wales through its local association MusicNSW. Other state associations such as Queensland's QMusic, South Australia's AWESAM and West Australia's WAM will add their own data over the next two years.

A report called "Vanishing Acts", released in 2002 by the Music Board of Australia Council and the NSW Ministry for the Arts, found that the number of venues for musicians declined due a number of factors, including random breath testing and noise regulations.