For close to 10 years, Music Victoria has been representing musicians, venues, music businesses, professionals, and music lovers across the contemporary Victorian music community, providing support and advocacy, all while celebrating and promoting the state’s music sector. As the state’s peak contemporary music service organisation, Music Victoria has something to offer everyone in the music community.
As Music Victoria has expanded the scope of its servicing, it has introduced new membership categories including Sound Engineer/Producers, Music Industry Professionals and a Free Under 18’s Membership. These new changes allow a broader range of professionals free access to the workshops and professional development series, and enjoy the benefits of the discounts.
Music Victoria has brought on a raft of new discounting partners this year that cover the spectrum of the industry, from food and beverage, to merch, freight, acoustic reports, Auslan services, record stores, guitar repairs and green screen filming.
We caught up with Music Victoria’s new General Manager Dale Packard to find out about what he does and what Music Victoria have in store for rest of 2019.
How did you first become involved in music?
I more or less grew up going to folk festivals, My dad played double bass and mandolin in a lot of bluegrass and folk bands (and still does) so being part of a musical community started very young. I then rebelled in my teenage years and started punk bands.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I listen to a lot of country music and dance music these days. Modern techno and old-timey acoustic music. Not sure why exactly, maybe there’s something about having a foot in the past and a foot in the future.
You played in a band called the Ground Components back in 2002 for several years, how has the local music scene changed since that period?
There has been a lot of changes but the most obvious would be the shift away from the ‘new rock’ period of the early 2000s where boys in tight jeans were trying to relive the glory days of rock n roll. Since then the scene has become more diverse and inclusive both in terms of genre and the people participating. There’s a lot more rnb inspired music which is cool. Even the idea of ‘bands’ seem to be a bit dated.
What is Music Victoria all about and what goals lie ahead?
Music Victoria is the independent voice of the Victorian music industry. We look after the interests and voices of musicians, music professionals, venues and music lovers.
One of the major aims of the organisation is to support venues, artists and the local community by ensuring live music venues stay open with more gigs and no lockouts. It’s fair to say we want to avoid what’s happening in NSW.
You’re new to Music Victoria, what is your new position and what does your role entail?
I’m am the General Manager at Music Victoria, before this role I was in the programming department at Regional Arts Victoria. My role is basically to keep the operations of the organisation on track, look after the finances, oversee projects, ensure staff are well supported and to make sure Victorian music has a loud and strong voice politically.
You came over from Regional Arts Victoria where you coordinated events around Australia that connect artists with new audiences and opportunities. What events did you coordinate and how did they help artists?
I developed and delivered a lot of touring projects. We ran an event called Showcase Victoria which is a marketplace for the performing arts. Artists and producers pitch their work in front of a room full of venue bookers and then Regional Arts Victoria would coordinate touring projects for shows that got sufficient interest. I was there for about 6 years and had a great time but it feels good to be back in the Music Industry, it feels a bit like coming home.
You have spent years touring the world with many successful bands as a tour manager, sound engineer and musician, including: Midnight Juggernauts, Architecture In Helsinki, First Aid Kit, Little Red and more. What were some of the biggest challenges that you encountered with touring and how does Music Victoria help touring artists?
Dealing with different personalities on tour and the way different people react to touring life is pretty challenging. I always loved it but some people really struggle with moving to different cities every day and barely sleeping. It was great fun though, I strongly recommend that people do it, particularly in their 20s. Music Victoria helps in lots of ways, particularly through the membership program. Members get extra baggage allowance on Virgin and Qantas flights which is a life saver if you have lots of gear. There are also discounts on freight, accommodation and vehicles.
You currently run Club Kids Music Academy, a place where children learn how to make music on electronic instruments and you’re also a board member for Schoolhouse Studios, a not-for-profit arts organisation providing workspaces for emerging artists. How are these two great causes making a difference to children and emerging artists?
Club Kids Music Academy is great fun and I’ve had the pleasure of running it at many festivals around Victoria. Basically, I get a bunch of 3-10 year of kids together, set up electronic instruments like samplers, drum machines, synths and fx pedals and teach the kids how to use them. It ends up in a great big chaotic jam session and everyone loves it.
Schoolhouse Studios is doing great work in the community arts area. They provide affordable workspaces for artists and also have created an accessible, harmonious community. Before becoming a board member I did an Auslan course there and loved it!
Why should people sign up to Music Victoria?
I strongly encourage people to become a Music Victoria member. You’ll get discounts, key information, professional development, access to the latest music and opportunities to further your career. We are like the community radio station you don’t hear, but we need memberships to continue to work behind the scenes, keep the fragile ecosystem together and help create sustainable careers for artists.
What are the new membership categories, prizes and discounts that are available?
Music Victoria has made some exciting changes to our membership categories. Some of our new types include memberships for Sound Engineers/Producers, Managers and a Free Under 18’s Membership. We’ve also introduced a category for Music Lovers who may not be part of the industry but want to support the work Music Victoria are doing. We’ve brought on heaps of discounting partners this year that cover the spectrum of the industry, from food and beverage to merch, freight, acoustic reports, Auslan services, record stores, guitar repairs and green screen filming.
Music Victoria continues to offer our (free-for-industry-members) which equip musicians, venues and industry professionals with the tools they need to thrive in the industry. Membership also provides a discount to the Changes Music Summit and Brisbane’s BIGSOUND Conference.
Please tell us about the upcoming professional development programs and workshops that Music Victoria will be running this year:
There are some fantastic professional development opportunities throughout the year which are free for members. Coming up soon we have a venues day for the City of Port Phillip, we’ve got a workshop on artists management, one on pitching music to radio and getting on playlists. We also have one at the end of the financial year to help musicians and music professionals get on top of their tax. You can check them all out on the Music Victoria website.
New Membership Types and Prices 2019
Under 18 memberships – Free
Music Lovers $55
Sound Engineer/Producers and Music Industry Professionals $77
Non-Profit Organisations/Small Businesses $220
Full list of Membership discounts at musicvictoria.com.au.