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CEO report December - the big 2011 wrap-up

22 Dec 2011

It’s been a big year for Music Victoria and the industry and we’ve noticed that, as De La Soul once sang, three is the magic number.

For years the music industry has lagged behind other industries because of a lack of meaningful data. But this was addressed this year when APRA, Arts Victoria and the City of Melbourne each released reports into the economic, social and cultural contribution made by music.

2011 will be remembered as the year that they started to take the music industry seriously. The three reports highlighted the importance of the industry and will help shape the decision making process in years to come.

The Victorian government and Responsible Alcohol Victoria have also acknowledged the value of the industry by amending the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 by inserting an object into the act recognising the contribution of live music to the state. Objects act as guiding principles of the act and should not only help avoid another SLAM rally but give weight to the push for the Agent of Change principle (which protects existing venues against new neighbours) to be given legislative teeth. We look forward to working on that, and other issues, on the soon-to-be established Live Music Roundtable in 2012.

Music venues are an endangered species. This year we lost the Arthouse and the Public Bar, the East Brunswick Club band room will wind up after summer and the Prince Bandroom’s future hangs in the balance (although the appointment of a new band booker announced today is a positive sign). On the other hand, great new venues such as the Phoenix Public House hosting music again, and the Regal Ballroom in Northcote and Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine will also start hosting live music.

While there’s not a lot that can be done to stymie the encroaching inner city gentrification, Music Victoria is looking at ways local councils and government can help make it more cost effective for licensees to host live music. Music Victoria also attends monthly meetings with band bookers from venues around Melbourne to talk about issues affecting live music venues and what we can do to help.

2011 will also be remembered as the year Melbourne simultaneously and successfully hosted three major music events – the Face the Music conference, the Australasian World Music Expo and the second Melbourne Music Week. All events were well attended and if the positive reaction from the creative director of Austin, Texas conference South by Southwest, Brent Grulke, is anything to go by, we’ve got a winner on our hands. Grulke, one of the most traveled and influential leaders in the music industry, was blown away by the industry’s size and talent in his nine days in Melbourne in November and confirmed that Melbourne has the passion, talent and infrastructure to run its own version of SXSW.

Three is also the number of committees that Music Victoria established in 2011 to ensure that it is broadly representative of the industry.

  • the 70-strong Victorian Music Council, made up of leading musicians, managers, regional festival promoters, venue owners, community radio station managers and music lawyers, which helps guide the organization on priorities and policy;
  • the Education Advisory Committee, which guides us on education matters;
  • the Student Committee, comprised of 13 of the state’s top music business and performance students. 

In 2012, the students will be working towards setting up an internship database and Code of Conduct, re-vitalising the underage and all-ages gig circuit, helping promote National Slam Day on 23rd February at TAFEs, unis and around the state, and assisting us in working with Centrelink to have a better understanding of the value of creative industries. For this, they will be working with our volunteer researcher Kerri Russell, who is adding the finishing touches to our Centrelink survey and report. It will be on our website soon and we will be approaching federal MPs about our recommendations. Thank you to everyone who contributed by completing our survey.

The Australian Music Industry Network, of which I am a director, had a great year, negotiating a deal with Virgin Australia that allows Music Victoria members to save thousands of dollars a year in excessive baggage fees. If you’re not a member, sign up now and save. We are also offering two Virgin Velocity memberships to new members who sign up and existing members who renew before the end of December. We’ll draw these lucky winners at random in the new year.

I also enjoyed my time on the National Film and Sound Archive board this year, and look forward to helping raise its music-related profile and acquisitions next year.

Music Victoria is also helping facilitate the Generate pilot program with APRA and the federal Creative Industries Innovation Centre (CIIC) to help identify, educate and fund the best and most innovative15 music-related business ideas in the country. For more details check our website and register your interest if you have an innovative music business idea. An information session will be held in Melbourne on 22nd February – you must be registered to attend this workshop.

And all of you licensees and band bookers out there, don’t to forget to register your events at and be part of the first National SLAM Day on 23rd February 2012 , celebrating our small live venues.

The Music Victoria board has recently been boosted by the addition of musician and festival programmer Sophia Brous and Street Press Australia’s own Leigh Treweek, and we look forward to harnessing their ideas and energy in 2012. Welcome aboard, folks!

Music Victoria is a non-for-profit organisation that survives on a state government grants, sponsorship, donations and membership fees. The state government, which has provided operational funding until the end of June 2013, has advised that we have to start working towards self-sustainability.

So it’s vital that our subscribers who support what we have done in our short tenure get behind us and become financial members. The more of the industry we represent, the healthier the industry and stronger we all become.

Our music scene is strong, but it’s a fragile ecosystem. On top of venues closing down, this year we lost record store institution Hound Dog’s Bop Shop, which closes its doors this week after decades of providing roots music lovers with rare vinyl and CDs. Make sure you pop down to 313 Victoria Street West Melbourne, buy some tunes and say farewell to manager Denys Williams, who says he is closing the store for a lifestyle change, not because of slow business. And make sure you hit the other record stores (check our Melbourne Music City guide for lists) and stock up on Victorian music for excellent Christmas presents.

And finally, our wishes are with music guru Molly Meldrum, who has been in an induced coma at the Alfred Hospital this week after falling from a ladder. Get well Molly!

Paddy and Bek would like to thank the Music Victoria board for their guidance and patience; and huge thank you to all the volunteers who have worked with us this year – Kerri, Ryan, Tania, Meredith, Graham, Cassie, Lanie and Carrie. 

Have a great Xmas and New Year. The Music Victoria office will be closed from Friday 23rd December and we’ll be back on board on 9th January, ready for a new year.

Patrick Donovan
CEO, Music Victoria 

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Call for Nominations for the Australian Jazz Bell Awards 2012

19 Dec 2011

The only national awards dedicated solely to Australian Jazz music is now in its 10th year. The Australian Jazz Bell Awards are open to receive nominations across eight different categories.

With prize money of $5000 for each award, this is a great opportunity for all artists to be recognised for their achievements in music over the past year. It is free to nominate and all the details including guideline and nomination forms can be found on the website

With a panel of highly respected judges from Australia and overseas, the winners will be revealed at a gala event on Thursday 3rd May at the Plaza Ballroom, Regent Theatre in Melbourne.

Nominations close 15th February 2012.

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Pozible crowdfunding program discount for Music Victoria members

19 Dec 2011

Music Victoria is pleased to announce a special offer to our members wishing to pitch projects through crowdfunding platform Pozible.


With Music Victoria as a Pozible Network Collaborator,  members of Music Victoria will be charged a 5% service fee instead of 7.5% if your project is successful. 

Music Victoria members can register their project proposals at:

What is Pozible?
Pozible is a crowdfunding platform and community for creative projects and ideas. Developed for artists, musicians, filmmakers, journalists, designers, social change makers, entrepreneurs, inventors, event organisers, software developers and all creative minded people to raise funds, realise their aspirations and make great things possible.

How does Pozible work?
Pozible provides project creators with a platform to present their ideas to a worldwide audience. If anyone likes the idea, they can support it by pledging money to the creator's project. In return for support, the project creators will offer rewards depending on the level of funding; essentially differentiating itself from the normal funding process.

Pozible has successfully reached 1.2 million dollar in pledges since the launched in May 2010. Music projects play a big part in the total success. Here are a few examples:

For more information please visit or email

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'State of Play - Live Music in Melbourne' survey

19 Dec 2011

State of Play

Since 1999, NMIT's music business students have conducted an annual research project - 'State of Play - Live Music in Melbourne', to measure live performance activity in Melbourne venues.  Until recently, these findings were the only real data our local industry had - especially for the pub, club, bar venues that are the backbone of our live scene.

‘State of Play’ is compiled by the Advanced Diploma of Music Business students at NMIT and attempts to measure the health (or otherwise), of the live music scene in Melbourne. It is the only report of its kind in Australia and has been a valuable info source for the music industry and those responsible for making decisions which affect this vital sector of the creative/cultural economy.

Part of the project has been gathering vital data from audience members/music fans on their consumption of live music, and information from the musicians who perform in those venues.

As always, they need your help. On the NMIT website - - there are two surveys: one for consumers and one for musicians.

Please take the time to fill one or both out as necessary. Your identity is not requested. The results will allow NMIT to feed quality data to the people who make the decisions about how best to support careers in the industry.

Update: The State of Play report 2010-2011 

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Victorian musicians scoop the pool in The Australia Council?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Music Board fellowships

13 Dec 2011

Victorian musicians have scooped the pool in The Australia Council’s Music Board Fellowships which were announced recently.

The two-year Fellowship grants provide $90k over two years to “outstanding, established artists to produce creative work or undertake professional development”. This year’s recipients are Gareth Liddiard from The Drones who will work on two new albums over the two years; drummer band leader and producer Nicky Bomba who will work on material for new albums from three of his many projects; and recorder player Genevieve Lacey who will collaborate with a range of musicians and artists from other disciplines to create new works.

“As you can imagine the competition for these fellowships is intense” says Music Board Chair, composer Matthew Hindson. “Two years of guaranteed income makes such a difference in an artist’s life. We’re really pleased to be able to support this group that represents both the quality and diversity of Australian music making.”

Also announced were the Music Board’s Project fellowships which provide $25,000 for one year. Recipients of these include composer David Chisholm whose opera “Kursk” was recently performed at the Melbourne Festival. Composer, improviser and performer Erkki Veltheim was also awarded a grant to facilitate an International Residency.

Music Victoria congratulates all these successful Victorian artists!

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Generate - Investing in Australian Music Enterprise

12 Dec 2011
  • Do you have a new music business concept that you are trying to get off the ground?
  • Are you a pioneering small music business which needs investment to get to the next stage of profitability?
  • Do you have a great idea for an innovative and enterprising project involving Australian music and games, film, or social media? 

If the answer to any of the above is yes, then you should apply to participate in GENERATE - a new pilot program which is looking to invest in up to 15 of the best music-related businesses or business ideas across Australia!

The new program, GENERATE: An Australian music enterprise investment pilot, aims to invest in original, innovative ideas or business models involving Australian music and is a positive step forward in creating a sustainable future for the Australian music industry.

GENERATE will provide business-development knowledge, skills and expert tailored mentoring support as well as access to seed investment of up to $30,000 for up to 15 ground-breaking music enterprises from across Australia.  


GENERATE is a pilot program to support enterprises in the Australian music industry which are seeking to grow and attract investment.

GENERATE is intended to support and develop good music-related business plans and industry concepts. Participants must be able to commit to the program timeline and requirements.

GENERATE will particularly focus on proposals that facilitate new collaborations or business models involving music and other creative professions such as film, online games and publishing.

GENERATE is looking for applications from small to medium-sized music enterprises including songwriters, composers, bands, managers, publishers, promoters, producers and labels.

GENERATE is NOT a grant program for music production or touring.


GENERATE is a three-stage business program which will run from December 2011 to May 2012.

December - February – GENERATE program opens, seeking applications from interested music professionals, entrepreneurs and businesses to register to attend an introductory workshop to be held in February 2012

Register your interest to attend a GENERATE 2012 Workshop here:

Melbourne workshop: Wednesday 22nd February 2012

To register your interest in attending a GENERATE 2012 workshop, please go to or Victorian artists can contact Music Victoria on (03) 9380 1566 or via  

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SLAM (Save Live Australia's Music) goes national in 2012

7 Dec 2011

National SLAM Day - 23rd February 2012

On 23rd February 2010, the SLAM rally saw 20,000 people march through Melbourne to the tune of AC/DC’s definitive ‘Long Way to the Top’, in protest against the Victorian Government’s misguided policy link between live music and violence.  Out on the streets of our city, we showed our support and love for a truly great live music community.

The SLAM rally was the largest cultural protest in Australia’s history. Now all of Australia has the opportunity to participate in a national event that celebrates our local musicians in our small venues.

Music communities around Australia are now invited to unite in support of our thriving live culture by hosting their own National SLAM Day gigs.

On Thursday 23rd February 2012, support your local artists and venues by getting out and experiencing the spontaneous excitement and intimacy you only get at a small venue.

Support a National SLAM Day event in your town – any style, any genre.  It’s easy to get involved:

  • Venues can register their gigs HERE.  It’s free to sign up.
  • Musicians can curate a National SLAM Day gig at their local venue.
  • Gig-goers can celebrate live music and local musicians in their own neighbourhood.
  • Community groups can host their own National SLAM Day gig.


National SLAM DAY


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Music Victoria announces Virgin Australia excess baggage details for travelling musicians

25 Nov 2011

Members of Music Victoria are now able to start taking advantage of a more musician-friendly baggage allowance thanks to an exclusive deal developed between Virgin Australia and national body The Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN).

In September 2011, AMIN and Virgin Australia announced a new initiative aimed at addressing the ongoing problems musicians face when travelling with musical equipment. The initiative has been well received by the music community who often have to deal with high and inconsistent excess baggage charges. The new Virgin Australia baggage allowances will have a major impact on the ability of Australian artists to tour more often and more cost effectively.

Virgin Australia is offering the music industry a baggage allowance of 32kg (across three pieces of checked baggage) for individual artists, with an additional 32kg able to be purchased in advance for just $15. Bands may also be able to ‘pool’ their baggage allowance across their travelling group. This baggage allowance is available on Virgin Australia-owned and operated domestic services only and must be booked or pre-purchased at least 48 hours prior to departure.

Details have now been finalised and information on how to access this initiative have been announced. Musicians and companies can access the new baggage allowance either via specialist entertainment travel companies or by contacting a dedicated Virgin Australia music liaison with your itinerary.  

The deal is available immediately to financial members of Music Victoria. To join Music Victoria as a member, apply online at

Music Victoria is also offering members the chance to win a Virgin Frequent Flyer Platinum Velocity membership for a year.  All current members as well as new members who sign up and pay by 31st December 2011 will be eligible to win.

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Music Victoria launches Melbourne Music City free guide

16 Nov 2011

Music lovers will have a new guide to help find venues, music stores and other music resources with the release of Melbourne Music City – a guide to the Live Music Capital of Australia. 

Melbourne Music City maps Melbourne’s main metropolitan entertainment hubs as well as venues in regional Victoria. The guide also includes a Victorian music festival timeline, a plotted history of key music events in the state plus information on gig guides, media, public transport and music-friendly accommodation. 

Music Victoria, the state peak body for contemporary music, is a partner of the Face the Music industry conference, the Australasian World Music Expo and Melbourne Music Week, all of which begin this week.

This free 60 page pocket-sized booklet hits Melbourne and Sydney cafes, venues and tourist hot spots from this Friday in time for these three key events. You can also view it online here.

Austrade (the Australian Trade Commission) will distribute the guide through its offices in Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, Toronto and Frankfurt, as well as through overseas embassies and consulates. The physical guide will be published annually and there are plans to develop a website and a smartphone application.

 If you love music, then Victoria’s the place to be over the next fortnight. The Melbourne Music Guide will help locals and tourists alike discover some hidden musical treasures.

For information about event tickets or schedules, check websites:

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CEO report November 2011

4 Nov 2011

Greetings Music Victoria members and subscribers

Thanks to those of you who attended the Annual General Meeting of Music Victoria on Tuesday 18th October. It was a great turnout with more than 50 enthusiastic members attending to vote in the board elections and hear about the organisation’s fruitful year. 

The Face the Music conference on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th November is fast approaching. Music Victoria plays an active role in the conference, which has broadened out from its focus on young people entering the industry. Tickets are on sale now and are great value at only $60 full / $50 concession for a 2 day pass or $40 full / $30 concession for a 1 day pass. Don’t forget that Music Victoria members get a 10% discount. Members can email us directly to access the discount code. 

November is going to be a huge month for music fans. Music Victoria is also co-presenting the Live Music Safari event on Thursday 24th November as part of Melbourne Music Week. The Live Music Safari will see the best small venues in the Melbourne City Council area offer free, one-off line-ups of some of Victoria’s best artists. We’re also proud to support the excellent Australasian World Music Expo (AWME) from 17th – 20th November. 

Read full report....

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Davidson Brothers announce 2012 Australian Youth Bluegrass Scholarship

25 Oct 2011

The Davidson Brothers have established the Australian Youth Bluegrass Scholarship to encourage and nurture singers and musicians who demonstrate exceptional talent and dedication in the field of Bluegrass Music. There are many young people in Australia who possess rare musical gifts, where a small nudge in the right direction may help pave the way toward their musical dreams.  

The recipient of the 2012 Australian Youth Bluegrass Scholarship will win a cash prize of $1,500 which they may wish to put toward a regional tour, a recording project, a new instrument, enrolment fees at the CMAA Academy of Country Music, or a flight to Nashville Tennessee so they can attend the IBMA World of Bluegrass convention. The recipient will also receive a recording package generously donated by the folks at Pacific International Music – one professionally recorded song of the winner’s choice, recorded and mixed to international broadcast standard, featuring the winner along with Australian and Nashville session players. The winner will also be presented with a trophy for themselves to keep and a perpetual trophy (which will remain the property of the Davidson Brothers), which will be passed on to the recipient of the following year’s scholarship.  

Applicants must be Australian Citizens or residents and must be aged 25 or under on the cut off date . Applicants must either sing, or play a bluegrass instrument - Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle, 5-String Banjo, Dobro or Bass.

Download application forms online at or click here to download the form.

Applications with accompanying audio CD must be received by 5pm on 9th December 2011 at:

Bluegrass Scholarship
PO Box 974
Bendigo, VIC 3552

The winner of the 2012 Australian Youth Bluegrass Scholarship will be personally notified and publicly announced on the 9th January 2012. The date and venue of the formal presentation will be decided based on which part of Australia the winner resides.  

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Victoria acts dominate Independent Music Awards and ARIA nominations

17 Oct 2011

Music Victoria congratulates the Victoria winners at the Independent Music Awards as well as the local artists nominated for this year’s ARIA Awards.

Geelong-born songstress Adalita took out the top Independent Music Award for Best Independent Album at the event, held at dynamic new Kensington warehouse-style venue Revolt.

 Other Victorian winners included Wagons, who took out the gong for Best Independent Country Album for Rumble, Shake and Tumble; Tommy Trash and Tom Piper, who were a joint winner of the Best Independent Dance, Electronic or Club Single for All My Friends; and noise rock band My Disco who took out Best Independent Hard Rock or Punk Album for Little Joy.

ARIA have also announced the nominations for this year’s ARIA Awards. Local lad Gotye, aka Wally de Backer,  was rewarded for the phenomenal success of his chart-topping single Somebody That I Used to Know (feat.Kimbra) with an impressive seven nominations . 

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