An open letter from Victorian music venues to the State Government Don't be fooled — Victoria's live music venues are open, but we are not ok.
Our live music venues reopened three months ago restricted to less than 30% of regular capacities, with the support of Jobkeeper. Now Jobkeeper is ending, the bills are piling up, and we cannot trade out of it. We call on the Victorian Government to urgently provide a clear and balanced roadmap for easing restrictions so that the live music industry can begin to trade sustainably.
Following 9 months of closure, Victoria’s live music venues recommenced operating in December 2020 with COVID safe capacity restrictions in place, based on a density quotient of 1 person per 2sqm. These restrictions mean our venues are operating at around 30% of their licensed capacity, resulting in a 70% drop in revenue whilst fixed costs including rent, insurance, utilities and staff remain static.
We applaud the Victorian Government for last year's $15 million Live Music Venues Program, which helped save many Victorian venues from permanent closure, however the majority of venues are still severely debt laden from 9 months of closure and have only been able to reopen at such low capacities with the support of Jobkeeper.
The reopening of live music venues has seen Victorian artists performing again and our industry’s live music and hospitality workers back in employment. Help us to preserve this vital cultural sector for the long term by increasing venue capacities now.
LIVE MUSIC MATTERS AS MUCH AS THE TENNIS AND THE FOOTY
Music is who we are. It is a cornerstone of Victoria’s identity as the “creative state”, it is something that we are known for around the world, and it is a huge economic driver.
From Victoria's small clubs to our iconic band rooms, our venues are the places where you go to listen, dance, share and celebrate music. Our stages nurture emerging artists and host Australia's and the world’s biggest touring acts.
Victoria's live music venues have an audience of 110,000+ every Saturday night — more than an AFL grand final. The industry generates tens of thousands of jobs, from musicians and DJs to bookers, promoters, publicists, venue operators, hospitality and bar staff, technicians, security staff and a vast network of ancillary suppliers and contractors.
Music venues are the critical infrastructure of this industry. If our venues disappear, the live music economy will disappear, and our cultural heritage will go with it. Australian artists will have fewer places to perform, to grow, to find fans.
Our music venues can not survive without Victorian Government intervention. So please, protect our music venues. Support our artists. Save our scene.
12 Bar / 170 Russell / 24 Moons / Aireys Pub / Angel Music Bar / Bad Decisions / Bar 303 / Bar Open / Bar Oussou / Barwon Club Hotel / Barwon Heads Hotel / Baxter’s Lot / Beaches of Mornington / Beavs Bar Geelong / Bendigo Hotel / Blackcat / Bloom Nightclub / Blues Train Queenscliff / Bodriggy / Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine) / Brown Alley / Brunswick Ballroom / Brunswick Green / Cactus Room / Café Gummo / Caravan Music Club / Charles Weston Hotel / Chasers / Cherry Bar / Circus Bar / Clifton Hill Brewpub / Club Pandora / Colour / Commercial Hotel / Corner Hotel / Dart and Marlin Warrnambool / Dr Freeman / Dr Morse / Eddie's Bandroom / Edinburgh Castle / Electric / Elwood Lounge / Empire Hotel Beechworth / Evie’s Bar & Diner / Evelyn Hotel / Ferdydurke / Fiftyfive / George's Bar / Glamarama / God's Kitchen Mornington / Grace Darling Hotel / Grand Hotel Mornington / Grovedale Hotel / Howler / Inflation / Jazz Lab / John Curtin Hotel / Kay Street Entertainment Complex / La Di Da / Labour In Vain / Laundry Bar Fitzroy / Leadbeater Hotel / Live at the Bundy / Longplay / Loop / Lucky Coq / Macedon Railway Hotel / Main Bar Ballarat / Max Watts / Meeniyan Town Hall / Merri Creek Tavern / Melbourne Pavilion / Memo Music Hall / Micawber Tavern / Mount Erica Hotel / Mr Boogie Man Bar / Musicland Fawkner / Nevemind Bar / New Guernica / Nighthawks / Northcote Social Club / One Six One / Open Studio / Paris Cat / Paynesvlle Wine Bar / Penny Black / Piano Bar Ballarat / Piano Bar Bendigo / Piano Bar Colac / Piano Bar Geelong / Pier Bandroom / Pinnancle Hotel / Pistol Pete's Food n Blues / Prince Bandroom / Red Hill Hotel Chewton / Revolver Upstairs / Ronnie's Blue Bar / Royal Oak Hotel / Rubix Warehouse / Section 8 Bar / Sooki Lounge / Star Hotel Yackandandah / Star of The West Hotel / Stay Gold / Swamplands Bar / Tanswell Beechworth / The B.East / The Bergy Seltzer / The Butterfly Club / The Carlton Club / The Catfish Fitzroy / The Courthouse Theatre Bright / The Croxton Bandroom / The Drunken Poet / The Eastern / The Emerson / The Esplanade Hotel (The Espy) / The Forum Melbourne / The Fox Hotel / The Gasometer Hotel / The Gem / The General (Mt Hotham) / The Gertrude / The Horn African Cafe / The Night Cat / The Old Bar / The Rainbow Hotel / The Retreat Hotel / The Thornbury Theatre / The Toff in Town / The Tote / The Vine Hotel Wangaratta / The Windsor Castle / The Wool Exchange / Theatre Royal Castlemaine / Torquay Hotel / Tramway Hotel / Volta / Wandi Pub Wandiligong / Wesley Anne / Westernport Hotel San Remo / Westwood Hotel / Whole Lotta Love / Workshop / Yah Yahs / Yarraville Club / Yarra Hotel (Abbotsford)
WHO WE ARE
We represent independent small to medium music venues across Victoria, including some of the most iconic and long-standing music venues in the country. We are not the big end of town - we are not in the business of hosting stadium tours. We are the pubs, theatres and clubs where Australian musicians get their start and hone their craft.
We are the venues where Victorian music lovers see shows not just once a year, but every night of the week. Our venues nurture the part of Victoria’s music culture that is uniquely Victorian, providing community, connectedness and wellbeing to people across the state.