AFL legends Matthew Richardson and Bob Murphy have added their voices to the chorus of music lovers desperate to save Melbourne’s live music venues by appealing to the State Government to lift density restrictions. The AFL legends, encouraged by football’s triumphant return to Melbourne, now turn their focus to the city’s beleaguered live music scene.
Richardson and Murphy joined musicians Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon) and G Flip today to draw attention to the ongoing struggle faced by Victoria’s live music venues.
“Melbourne’s getting its culture back, its vibrancy back, but it won’t be complete until we get our live music back so I think its time that they were afforded the same luxuries that we have in our industry…Obviously the AFL is a massive industry and has the support of the big end of town and I feel like live music has been neglected a little bit” said Richmond great Matthew Richardson.
“Small venues are definitely the stepping stone for any musicians career, it’s the launching pad. It’s like the first two steps of the staircase, if they’re gone, how are you gonna get up?” said Melbourne musician G Flip.
“Until now we have been fumbling on, on a lot of goodwill and with the welcome support of JobKeeper” said Rod Smith of The Corner Hotel, “but that’s coming to an end next week along with rent relief and with our fixed costs remaining static…well, we’re in trouble basically”.
Last week, Save Our Scene Victoria urgently appealed to the Victorian government via an Open Letter which has now been signed by over 130 of Victoria’s live music venues. It calls for eased restrictions so that the live music industry can begin to trade sustainably when JobKeeper ends this week.
Whilst Save Our Scene welcomed the federal government’s RISE funding announcement yesterday, these competitive project grants are primarily targeted at festivals, concerts, tours and productions, and address project funding rather than assisting with music venues to cover core costs while they continue operate at 30% of regular capacity.
Despite what the headlines have suggested, live music venues are still subject to a one person per 2 square metre maximum density in Victoria, which equates to roughly 30% of normal licensed capacity. That’s a 70% drop in revenue, while costs remain static. No business can survive like this, especially after nine months of closure last year.
The South Australian Government yesterday announced an easing of maximum density rules for venues, allowing for a genuine increase in audience capacities. Today Save Our Scene asks the Victorian State Government to do the same, as they have already done for Victoria’s theatres and sporting events. As JobKeeper ends, this is the only thing that will allow Melbourne music to get back on it’s feet.
Our music venues can not survive without Victorian Government intervention.
So please, protect our music venues. Support our artists. Save our scene.
For more info visit saveourscene.com.au